The Registry of Nature
Attracting Wildlife to Your Back
A Guide to Increasing Wildlife Diversity
and Aesthetic Value Around Your Home
1. Setting Your
Personal Goals and Priorities
Making the decision to enhance your backyard for
wildlife is one of the largest contributions most people can
personally do to help wildlife. It is possible to transform your
existing yard into a beneficial site for attracting local wildlife
and an excellent location for you and your family to enjoy some
The key to a successful back yard landscaping
project is producing a plan which can be referenced at any time. The
following steps are a good guide for beginning wildlife landscapers
and have been successful for individuals in the past.
1. SETTING YOUR PERSONAL GOALS AND
Based upon several factors, decide what you want to
attract. In most cases, the choices are: nesting songbirds,
butterflies and moths, hummingbirds, deer or other large mammals,
winter songbirds, waterfowl, upland game species, amphibians and
reptiles, cottontail rabbits and other small mammals, or a
combination of species.
The limiting factors in making your decision include
what types of cover you plant, what nesting structures you provide,
what species are found locally or migrate through the area, how much
property you have available to enhance, what you are willing to
tolerate and whether or not you can provide special habitat like
Some other questions you may consider include:
- Are you starting from scratch or does your
property already have features that benefit wildlife?
- Does attracting wildlife negatively affect your
neighbor or could the project be one in which all neighbors
- Where do you best locate plantings and feeders to
view wildlife while not overly disturbing them?
- How much money can you put into this
Generally, some wildlife will respond favorably to
the addition of any quality habitat. Some species, however, require
specific conditions and special habitats. It may be impossible, for
example, to create the arid, sandy, habitat conditions in a Bismarck
back yard to raise horned lizards.
Finding out about these special conditions can be
done by researching wildlife publications or consulting a local
biologist. Either way, once you have decided your target species
based upon research and what you have to work with, you are ready
for step 2.
Section -- The Needs of Wildlife: COVER AND
Return to Contents
Next Section --
Landscape Planning: 2. Producing a Drawing of the Property