Water - It is the most
important factor to attracting wildlife to a habitat. Without
it birds insects and animals can not survive. Water can be
provided by many sources. They may be natural or can be
provided by as little as bird baths or a man made pond.
Wildlife prefers a well balanced source of water. If you use
bird baths, it is very important to keep them clean as the water
will become dirty. If you put in a pond, it is very important
to develop a balance. This will keep the water clean and
healthy. Details on building and maintaing ponds is found in
a Pond. Moving water is always preferable to standing
water and shallow water is better than deep water.
The use of chemicals in water will
affect the balance and in return reduce the wildlife using it.
Avoid at all costs the use of any chemicals in your water
There is always a concern about
mosquitos. A well balance pond will hatch very few
mosquitos. Most of the larvae will be eaten well before they
have a change to emerge from the water. Most mosquitos hatch
in water that is not in balance. These are pockets of water
they contain little or no predators. The best way to control
mosquitos is too locate these sources and eliminate them. Most
wildlife do not use these sources for water anyway. These can
be planters, an old tire, clogged gutters ( the most common),
etc... It is always better to eliminate the source than spray
chemicals that will affect other wildlife.
Birds - Bird baths and shallow areas in
ponds are very good sources. Bird baths should be placed in
areas that are shaded. This will keep the water cool on hot
days. It is a good practice to use your bird bath year
round. In cold areas birds may find it difficult to find
Small Mammals - Ponds or small containers work well. These
should also be in a shaded area.
Butterflies, Moths &
Bees - If you
have a pond it is good practice to provide an area that is muddy
with little or no surface water at one or more edges. These
critters will flock to these locations for a drink. If you do
not have a pond, a tray with mud is a good substitute.
Dragonflies - These guys need more
water. A small pond is a minimum requirement. They like
deeper water for protection, food and hibrination. No need to
bring them in when you build a pond, they will soon populate any new
pond that is built. Again chemicals are no good and will
affect these critters also.
Large Mammals - Only attempt to attract large mammals if you have
a large enough property to enjoy them without having any interaction
with them. If a squirrel becomes a nuisence, that is all it
is. If Deer or a Bear becomes a nuisence, you have a
problem. These animals will require a large pond and many
acres. They may destroy the habitat of a smaller water source,
knock over bird baths and do damage to other structures. For
most people these large mammals are best discouraged from using your