NWF Certified Habitat Article August 09 2015

Get "Wildlife Habitat Certified" in a snap! The National Wildlife Federation urges anyone and everyone to do their part. Big yard? Small yard? No problem,  It's really simple to create a backyard oasis, you probably have most of the elements already.  Not only birds, but many other species of wildlife will benefit... and you will too, when observing your endeavors...  for many seasons to come!

The National Wildlife Federation has a simple program that allows everyone to register their backyard or gardening area as "Certified Wildlife Habitat".  The requirements are minimal, the rewards are tenfold.  The Birdhouse Chick is a certified habitat! The certification program is currently referred to as "Gardening for Wildlife".

Basically there are just three components, food, water and shelter, and they may take on several forms. Providing food with native plants, shrubs and trees, or with bird feeders using seed, suet, fruit, nectar, etc.  Water is also essential, and there are many ways to make it available to the wildlife in your yard.  Last is shelter, and landscape, or lack there of, play a large role here. Brush piles, dead or mature trees, or thicket, varying types of environments are important.  Of course nest boxes and bird houses are always an excellent way to provide wild birds shelter from weather and predators.

Looking around the yard today and truly observing, I realized what I'd been taking for granted for so long. Amazed at the diverse species, not only birds and squirrels, but rabbits, butterflies, the tiniest frogs, a large blue skink, and of course my neighbor's cat!  I'll save that for another time though.

The joys of bird watching are numerous, nature's stress relief.  More times than not, what starts as a hobby turns into a passion, and at times can be mesmerizing.  I can't pinpoint exactly why, but if you give it a try you'll see what I mean!