FYN Principle #5 - Attract Wildlife
Florida has the third most diverse wildlife population of any state in the nation. But rapid growth of human populations is replacing native wildlife habitat with urban development. As our communities expand, we lament the loss of birds and other wildlife, yet our own yards are partly to blame.
A Florida yard provides habitat for desirable plants and animals that have been displaced by development. As you consider objectives for your new or existing landscape, add a few features for wildlife to bring your yard alive with birds, butterflies and beneficial insects.
Basically, wildlife will be attracted by food, water and cover. Following are considerations for providing wildlife habitat in your yard:
- FOOD - Should be provided in the form of plants that bear seed, fruit, foliage or flowers that you are willing to have eaten by birds, larval butterflies (caterpillars) or adult butterflies. Berries, fleshy fruits, nuts and acorns are treats for wildlife.
- WATER - Sources in your yard may include a pond, creek or other body of freshwater. A bird bath that captures rain water or one that you replenish can suffice. Dump and clean the container every few days and refill it to prevent mosquito breeding and bacterial contamination.
- COVER - Provide wildlife shelter such as a bat house, bird house, butterfly house, brush pile or a dead tree called a snag.