Here's how we keep our garden ready for wildlife:
- Provide water year-round - A birdbath is a great start. It can be a simple one, or a decorative one to go with the landscape in your backyard. Change the water every 2-3 days in the summer and in winter. Place the birdbath about 10 feet from dense shrubs or other cover that predators may use.
- Install native plants - Select a variety of native plants to offer year-round food in the form of seeds, berries, nuts, and nectar. Try to recreate the plant ecosystem native to our area. Evergreen trees and shrubs provide excellent cover through all seasons, if they are part of your local ecosystem.
- Keep dead trees - Dead trees provide cavity-dwelling places for birds to raise their young and as a source to collect insects for food. Many birds will also seek shelter from bad weather inside these hollowed out trees.
- Put out birdhouses / nesting boxes - Make sure the birdhouses have ventilation holes at the top and drainage holes below. Do not use a box with a perch, as house sparrows are known to sit on a nesting box perch and peck at other birds using the nesting box. Be sure to monitor the boxes for invasive animal species known to harm or out-compete native species.
- Build a brush pile in a corner of your yard - Start with larger logs and top with smaller branches. Some birds will hunt, roost or even nest in brush piles.
- Offer food in feeders - Bird feeders are a great sources of supplemental food during times of food scarcity, and also enhance bird viewing opportunities by bringing them to one spot.
While we waited for the weather to cool off to begin planting we started by focusing on birds and asking the kids a lot of questions:
What kinds of birds live in our area?
What do they need to survive?
Where do they sleep?
What kind of food do they eat?
What can we do to attract them to our gardens?
They had a lot of thoughts in this and were eager to learn more. Check out a few of our projects:
Birds eat worms!
Birds eat seeds!
What birds do we want to attract to our gardens? Hummingbirds!
Where do birds like to live?
What birds do we see in our ACG garden? Cardinals, bluejays, doves...
Wildlife Habitat Garden
- 2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup coconut yogurt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
- 1 TBS coconut sugar
- 1 cup blueberries berries fresh or frozen
- Pre-heat oven to 350 and grease a mini muffin pan with coconut oil
- Beat together eggs, honey, coconut oil, vanilla, and lemon zest over medium speed until combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- Slowly add the almond flour mixture into the wet mixture.
- Gently fold in the berries.
- Scoop mixture evenly into muffin pan and top with chopped pecans mixed with coconut sugar.
- Bake for 25 minutes then let cool on cooling rack.