Birds are marvels of evolution, their variety speaks to their ability to explore and make the most of every niche in any environment – a true wonder, and one that we often take for granted. A bird-friendly landscape is a healthy landscape! Birds help pollinate, debug and fertilize your yard. Additionally, they bring a lively, colorful, and song-filled atmosphere to any gardener’s home.
Come shop all of our Wild Birds Unlimited and other birding products in every Moana Nursery location, you will find everything you need for backyard birding.
What is a Backyard Habitat?
A backyard habitat provides birds and wildlife with four basic needs: food, water, shelter, and a place to raise young. Creating a healthy habitat for your backyard birds and wildlife in turn creates a healthier garden. At Moana Nursery, out Wild Birds Unlimited Certified Bird Feeding Specialist is happy to provide advice and assistance to help you accomplish your backyard habitat goals.
The Benefits of “Feederscaping”
Designing and planting your yard with habitat in mind allows you to create a refuge for birds, wildlife, and you. You need not be limited to your own yard; there are many opportunities within neighborhoods and communities to plant for habitat and create places of refuge. Consider working with schools, businesses, and communities to provide the essential elements of food, water, shelter, and safe places to raise young.
The 4 Elements of Creating a Backyard Habitat
Food for Wildlife
The ideal wildlife habitat supplies food naturally through the plants that are living there. Diverse plantings can provide resources for many varieties of birds and other wildlife throughout the seasons. Trees, shrubs, grasses, and perennials, and the acorns, nuts, berries, seeds, buds, fruit, nectar, and pollen they produce will sustain a variety of different species.
Birds and wildlife need water. A reliable source of water is essential to birds for both drinking and bathing, as keeping their plumage clean and preened is important for their health and gives them an advantage in evading predators. Water can be supplied in a birdbath, a small pool, a recirculating waterfall, a shallow dish, or with a dripper or mister. Supplying freshwater is one of the most certain ways of attracting birds and wildlife to your landscape.
Cover + Shelter
Birds need protective cover just as people need the shelter of a house. Cover can be provided in many forms, and the same plants that offer food can also provide cover. A variety of layers, from treetops, to dense shrubs, evergreens, and brush piles, combined with more open spaces containing grasses and perennials, allows both shelter and potential vantage sites to spot predators. Hollow logs, rock piles, and stonewalls can provide habitat for additional wildlife, and increase the diversity you see in your yard.
Places to Raise Young
A more specific kind of cover where birds and animals can reproduce is needed to make a backyard habitat complete. These areas provide space for courtship and for protecting young animals, whether they’re birds in a nest, tadpoles in a shallow pool, or specific plants upon which butterfly caterpillars depend. For cavity-nesting birds or those who will use a roost, providing a good quality nesting box with adequate insulation and ventilation can ensure that generations of birds will call your yard home and that your backyard is a refuge for all to enjoy.