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July 8, 2016 Comments (0) Conservation, Fish & Wildlife

Create the Ultimate Backyard Habitat

Bluejay on Birdfeeder

Whether you have a few acres out the back door or merely a few square feet of balcony space in a condo, there are things that you can do encourage living creatures to come and pay you a visit. Wildlife habitats are as varied as the creatures that inhabit them. Depending upon where you live you can set up your own little piece of nature no matter where you live, whether its desert, forest, or water. Even in the heart of the city you can create a habitat that can offer insects, birds and all kinds of other local creatures enough food and shelter to support their essential needs.

Bluejay on Birdfeeder

A Bluejay on a window Bird feeder, taken with a GoPro

Backyard Wildlife

The 3 essentials to a thriving backyard habitat are food, water and shelter. Most changes you will have to make to whatever area you have available are pretty simple, and easily scaled to the space you have and the wildlife you want to attract. Constructing a large watering hole is fun and really pretty but quite often impracticable and overly expensive. You can try using your imagination to create water features out things you have around the house or shed, or just pick up an inexpensive bird bath at Walmart. The bird bath we placed in the backyard made all the difference as birds and animals of all kinds began to use it after just a short while. Give them time to realize it’s there and safe.

Cardinal at Birdfeeder

A Cardinal on a small suction cup Birdfeeder taken with a GoPro

Birds and Butterflies are a great way to start your backyard wildlife habitat and relatively simple, basically bird feeders and a water source, but it is very important to understand what birds and insects are native to your area and create a backyard habitat with food source especially for them. This might include removing any non-native plants and flowers and replacing them with native varieties that local birds and other wildlife are accustomed to. This includes bird feeders that are always stocked with the food that bird species in your area prefer. There are so many books available to help you choose everything from bird feeders to plants and shelters you can build yourself! Check on Amazon.com.

The ultimate backyard habitat takes time to create and essentially become part of the local environment, so don’t rush it. Watch what birds and insects show up in the area and make it even more attractive for them. Even a condo balcony can hold food, water and shelter using potted plants and hanging flower baskets. If you are building this backyard habitat in an area with a lot of cats you may have to find a deterrent to them. In our backyard we have seen cats actively stalking birds and squirrels which can cause wildlife to feel unsafe in your yard.

Backyard Animals
I was trying to figure out how to explain about a backyard wildlife habitat for animals, but after some serious thought I decided to leave this for a different article. Although we all love to see various animals spend some quality time where we can sit on chair and watch them, it is not always in everyone’s best interest to attract them into the neighborhood. I woke up to a noise in the middle of the night in Durango, Colorado last year only to come face to face with a very large Black Bear looking at me through the bedroom window. A friend had a moose camped out in her backyard, and bringing in lots of small critters like Opossum and Raccoons can bring with them other issues, not the least of which is attracting predators who view your backyard deer feeder like some people view the buffet at a Golden Coral.

Backyard Habitat

You can create a beautiful habitat with whatever space you have!


If you are lucky enough to live in an area frequented by Deer and other larger animals, check local ordinances or with the local Fish and Game officer to see their stance on this type of backyard habitat. Creating the ultimate backyard habitat is incredible fun and great photo opportunity as well. Just make sure you do it responsibly. For you city dwellers, Birds and Butterflies will definitely give you hours of enjoyment, so utilize some of the space you have and build your own piece of outdoor paradise!

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