Living with wildlife
Trees and water at Smith Lake
Most of us enjoy having wildlife around, provided they are not in conflict with our interests. Watching wildlife in our own backyards can provide many hours of entertainment and pleasure. There are many things the homeowner can do to enhance wildlife habitat around the home, and several things to be aware of when working in your yard.
- Before you prune trees or shrubs, check for the presence of ground nesting birds.
- Before mowing your lawn, check for the presence of ground-nesting birds and mammals such as rabbits.
- Plant native trees and shrubs in your yard that provide food and shelter for wildlife.
- Put up birdhouses and birdbaths.
- Leave dead trees or snags standing. They provide nest cavities and attract insects for wild animals to eat.
- Pull weeds instead of using herbicides.
- Limit the use of pesticides. Many birds feed on insects around our yards, and you deprive them of food if you kill the insects.
- Learn about environmentally safe alternatives to insecticides and pesticides.
- Use organic fertilizers, such as manure, in your gardens.
- Dispose of chemicals on a hazardous waste collection day.
- Do not pour hazardous chemicals down the sink or put them in the trash.
- Large expanses of lawn do not provide much in the way of habitat for wildlife. Consider removing some of your lawn and planting native shrubs and trees instead. Native plants require much less maintenance and will attract many species of wildlife.
- Read about the effect human litter and pollution has on our environment.
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