Attracting Wildlife to Our Yards is Easy and Fun
Last updated 10/24/2021 at 7:24am
Attracting wildlife to our yards by planning and planting for their needs is simple and satisfying. If we supply adequate food, water and shelter, we can increase the number and variety of species that visit our properties, improving our chances of observing them more closely while providing the habitat they need to survive.
The Lake Wales Ridge is home to scores of "endemic" species that exist nowhere else on earth. Because almost all of Florida was submerged as recently as three million years ago, these species evolved in isolation on our area's "ancient islands." We can help sustain the surviving species through a few simple acts of our own.
There are several elements involved in providing habitat for birds and other wildlife:
1. Provide the elements of good habitat essential to all wildlife – food, water, shelter and space to raise young.
2. Plant a variety of native trees and other plants to supply year-round nectar flowers, fruits and nuts. Native wildlife is adapted to native plants.
3. Limit use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
4. Include plantings for hummingbirds, butterflies and other insect pollinators.
5. Ensure water is clean and plentiful.
6. Leave standing dead trees and stumps or rotting logs where possible to provide nesting cavities and basking sites.
7. Become inspired by visiting state parks, natural areas, Polk County conservation lands, or some natural areas managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
• evaluate your current landscape and create a habitat plan;
• select the appropriate native plants. A variety ensures a year-around food supply;
• design a bird, butterfly or pollinator garden;
• add nest boxes, feeding stations and water features.