Backyard Wildlife Habitat–Some Shocking Suggestions

Birds are the last surviving dinosaurs.

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It’s the dead of winter for us. Your plants have either dropped leaves, are hibernating or are at least shivering. Why would you want to start thinking about reshaping your yard now?

Actually, this is the best time to plant certain trees and shrubs. And it is as good a time as any to think through how you would like your yard to become a backyard wilderness habitat.

We have been studying Scott Edward’s book, Creating a Bird-Friendly Backyard Habitat, published by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. There are also sites on the Net about birding that might interest you. In this article I am going to make some shocking suggestions. Wait for it.

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Backyard Habitats–Plants for Ponds and Water Gardens

Pontederia cordata L.

Pontederia cordata

Are you interested in having a wildlife habitat in your back yard next spring? The time to think about doing that is now in the wintertime. One of the main needs of your backyard visitors is the need for water.

We have talked in other articles about ponds in-ground and above-ground and about water gardens. Now we need to add the plants Here are some of the successful plants for your water garden. Some you can leave in the water garden all winter and others are spring and summer only types.

Here is a list of easy to find and grow water plants.

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Backyard Wildlife Habitat–Building an above-Ground Water Garden

we build a pond - part 2: pond foil ready

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Are you interested in having a wildlife habitat in your back yard next spring? The time to think about doing that is now in the wintertime. One of the main needs of your backyard visitors is the need for water.

Here are instructions for building above-ground water gardens.

To build an above-ground water garden

This section describes how to build an above-ground 4′ x 8′ pond that holds about 350 gallons of water. You will need:

  • (15) 8′ landscaping timbers
  • 12 pieces of 17″ rebar
  • 45 mil EPDM rubber sheet
  • The pond will measure 18″ above ground and has a deep area in the middle made by digging out a 4′ x 2′ x 18″ deep hole with steeply angled walls. This leaves a generous 10″ wide underwater ledge on which to place plants. Fish like the deep section that also stays cooler because of increased contact with the ground.

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Backyard Habitats-Water Gardens

Low level
Image by ARendle via Flickr

Are you interested in having a wildlife habitat in your back yard next spring? The time to think about doing that is now in the wintertime. One of the main needs of your backyard visitors is the need for water.

Here are some instructions for building water gardens.

There are few endeavors that combine such a variety of disciplines as does the stewardship of a water garden. Botany, fish management, water purity, temperature, color arrangement, environmental balance, wildlife, safety, electrical connections, pumps, filters, rocks, and algae blooms will all become a part of your vocabulary and your life. These factors will be challenging, educational, and exciting.

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Backyard Habitat Birdbaths

A shallow concrete birdbath

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Are you interested in having a wildlife habitat in your back yard next spring? The time to think about doing that is now in the wintertime.

It’s time for a lesson from Scott Edward’s book “Creating a Bird-Friendly Backyard Habitat.”  Let’s look at the third chapter on “Water, the Source of Life.”

When you think about it, different birds are attracted to the different trees, shrubs and flowers in your backyard, but every bird is attracted to water.  Just watch the grackles and sparrows as you water your lawn.  If you wind up with a puddle in the street, it becomes a public bath.  Birds need water to drink and to bathe in all year long.

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