Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wildlife Habitat

Found a couple good tips for creating bird habitat from the Audubon Society.
  • Naturescape your yard: Plant a combination of native plants and trees to provide birds with cover, food and nesting opportunities. Group several of the same species together with the largest species towards the edge of the yard to create a songbird border. Include evergreens for cover, thorny species to create nesting opportunities and berry producing shrubs such a snowberry, salmonberry, red flowering currant and huckleberry to provide food.
  • Create a brush pile: Pile up downed tree limbs to create a brush pile, a great source of cover for birds during bad weather. A 3' x 5' pile can also be good for reptile habitat.
I also came across some good info on habitat for native bees.
Bee blocks can be made by drilling nesting holes between 3/32” and 3/8” in diameter, at approximate 3/4” centers, into the side of a block of preservative-free lumber. The holes should be smooth inside, and closed at one end. The height of the nest is not critical—8” or more is good—but the depth of the holes is. Holes less than 1/4” diameter should be 3-4” deep. For holes 1/4” or larger, a 5-6” depth is best.
These nests should be placed where they are sheltered from the worst of the weather, with entrance holes facing towards east or southeast, so they get the morning sun.
One thing that I haven't seen is varying the sizes and location of the holes to make an attractive pattern. Not that the bees would care, but it would be fun for observers.
There are also notes for ground nesting bees (need dry bare ground) and bumble bee nests (7" cube).

A pond can also be useful for many species.

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