Every spring and fall we offer suggestions about how to make your yard and community a place birds and other wildlife can flourish. By now we all know the basics –
- Keep it wild – but naturally so – without invasives!
- Use native plants that provide year-round food and shelter in layers
- Use no pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals
- Replace at least half of your mowed lawn with a meadow or other wild plantings
- Don’t forget the brush pile and year-round water source!
We get a lot of questions about how to do this. It takes work and some knowledge of how to design your habitat and what to plant. We have done a few articles on it, including one which shows how the meadow in my yard was created. It now is host to over a dozen pairs of breeding birds, protects and feeds an overwinter pair of Carolina Wrens, Mockingbirds, Cardinals, and a big flock of Red-winged Blackbirds, and is a haven for migrating butterflies and birds alike. If all this looks a bit daunting to you, or you just dont have the time to do it, there are professionals in habitat creation who can do this work for you. Not every landscaper knows how to do this and it is still a fairly specialized field designing, implementing, and sourcing the correct plants and trees. To help you find someone near you who can help, this month we have a link provided by Homegrown National Park, to a list of landscapers who do understand what it takes to create a successful bird and wildlife-friendly yard habitat, and how to make the conversion easy and beautiful for you. The list is by state, region, and national, so regardless of the size of the project, you should be able to find someone near you. Homegrown National Park is a grassroots call-to-action to regenerate biodiversity and ecosystem function by planting native plants and creating new ecological networks.