ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Create a Backyard Habitat

Updated on June 4, 2014
Bluejaytrio by Jeanne Gruner
Bluejaytrio by Jeanne Gruner | Source

Create a wildlife habitat in your own backyard and bring butterflies, birds and other forms of wildlife into your area so you can observe and live with them.

A backyard habitat is a garden that provides essential resources for different types of wildlife. A bird habitat is achieved by planting plants that produce fruit for birds to eat or they dry to seeds that birds like. It also contains water sources, shade, hiding places and somewhere to escape to when the weather gets cold or rainy. A habitat does not need acres of room. A small backyard is perfect. However, you can always create a large, elaborate for wildlife. It is important to create habitats since the wild fields that support birds and butterflies are swiftly disappearing. To ensure the existence of some wildlife backyard habitats are essential.

Take a look around your yard and decide what essentials you already have. This will help you to decide what kind of habitat would be the easiest or hardest (if you like a challenge) to build. You may have a berry bush, sunflowers, shade trees and a birdhouse in your back yard. To make a bird habitat you only have to add a few more fruit bushes, a bird feeder and water source for the birds. While you inspect your backyard write down what flowers, plants and trees are already growing in your yard. Next you must find out which ones are native to your area. Which plants will provide food, such as seeds and fruit and which ones will provide hiding places or nesting areas. Dead or dying trees are excellent places in which woodpeckers, squirrels and insects reside. Make a list of what you have or can easily get such as bird feeders, rock walls, or log piles (also good places for wildlife to reside). Assess how much sun your yard receives per day and what soil conditions are present.

All wildlife require four basic elements. Those are food, water, cover, and places to raise young. In order to have a backyard habitat you must have these four things.

After you decide what type of habitat you wish to create, grow plants that provide food such as fruits, seeds, nuts, and nectar. Remember that your habitat is not only a summer retreat, it must function all year round or as long as the wildlife you wish to attract is about. Purchase native perennials and annuals that are suited to the conditions of your yard. DO NOT use pesticides as these will kill off either the wildlife you are trying to attract or get rid of the food the wildlife needs to eat. Instead use natural means of ridding your yard of pests. Native plants usually do not require fertilizers, herbicides or extra watering except in extreme conditions. Another tip is to reduce the amount of lawn you have. Lawns are not native and are not needed in a backyard habitat. Your wildlife will appreciate leaf mulch, bushes and shrubs instead. You must create an area much like the wildlife would find in the wild. Feeders should be used as a supplement to natural food provided by native plants. If you have a small area to work with you may need to supplement whereas a large area would not require many feeders.

The following are some plants that can be included in a backyard habitat:

Trees: White Oak, Red Oak, Black Walnut, Hickory, Crabapple, Hawthorn, Pines and Spruces. Shrubs that do well in a backyard habitat are Dogwood, Sumacs, Elderberry, Chokecherry, honeysuckle, and viburnums. Vines that are acceptable are American Bittersweet, Trumpet Creeper, raspberry, and blackberry. Other plants that can be included are sunflowers, black-eyed Susans, asters, marigolds, millet, zinnias, and some natural grasses.

A habitat does not require a grass lawn and it better to have a field, prairie or forest like setting. Plant native ground covers, a hedgerow, create a meadow or prairie patch, plant an organic vegetable garden, water garden, rock garden, or just mulch the area.. Make sure you check your local rules and regulations. Some communities may not appreciate having a meadow or prairie patch in their township.

The biggest requirement for a habitat is water. Wildlife and birds need to for bathing, drinking and sometimes for breeding. Use a birdbath as a water source or build a small pond or stream with a recirculating waterfall. Water needs to be available all year round so . Install a thermostatically controlled bird bath heater to a bird bath for water during freezing weather. Butterflies appreciate a shallow dish with pebbles inside. Never let the water come up over the pebbles because the butterflies need to stand on them to get water. Clean and change water everyday in bowls or baths.

Include evergreen trees or shrubs that will provide all year protection from weather and predators. These include oak, juniper, holly and other dense bushes. Log piles can make a nice house for wildlife and a brush pile in a large area will house many animals. Keep these items away from the house because you do not want wildlife to come looking for shelter and food in your house. Keep everything organic so you don't inadvertently poison the wildlife you wish to attract.

Once you have planted or planned your backyard habitat you need to practice resource conservation. It is always tempting to plant exotic plants in the garden, but the habitat is not the place to do it. Wildlife only likes the local plants that naturally grow in the area. Check with your nursery if you don't know what plants to provide. Be careful to avoid invasive plants that will take over the habitat and choke everything out. Any water you put in a container for wild life should be taken from the tap and left sitting for at least a few hours. This gets rid of the chemicals in the water that might harm wildlife and birds.

© 2014 debbieh13

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)