About Central Florida Gardener

Welcome and thank you for visiting Central Florida Gardener. Florida is a unique state in which to garden. It can be frustrating but also rewarding for gardeners who persevere. This blog was created as a resource for Florida gardeners, both new and experienced, in search of information specifically for Florida gardens.

You are invited to participate by leaving your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations relevant to Florida gardening - don't be shy! Thank you for dropping by to learn more about gardening in the Sunshine state. I look forward to hearing from you! Susan

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Creating a Wildlife Habitat - Step #4: Provide Places for Raising Young

Now that you've provided food, water and cover in your garden and the birds, butterflies and other creatures are showing up in great numbers it's time to think about providing places for nesting.

The following ideas will entice wildlife to put out the "Home Sweet Home" sign and make your garden their permanent home.

The FOURTH element to attract wildlife is to provide places for nesting.

Here's 4 suggestions for providing places for nesting: 

Plant a variety of trees. Establishing trees of varying varieties and heights will attract a variety of birds to your garden and provide them with a place to build nests.

Don't forget to include palm trees when deciding which trees you'll grow. Not only do the birds love the berries but the palm fibers are used as nesting material.

When possible, leaving a dead tree trunk. . . also called a "snag" . . . in your yard. The snag in this photo stands between a series of trees planted all around it. It's been there for about 7 years and the woodpeckers love it.

These snags provide a place for cavity nesting birds to create a home. Do be careful that the snag will not cause damage to your home or other structures should it eventually fall over. My snag is slowly decomposing and looks like it will most likely break off in small chunks as it ages.

Attach or hang birdhouses to a tree or post in the garden. Small birds such as wrens and sparrows will appreciate these little homes scattered around your garden. Some small mammals like flying squirrels will also nest in these houses. We have a Bluebird family that has taken up residence in the Bluebird house pictured at the beginning of this post.
Don't forget to include duck houses if you live on the water, and bat houses are another option.

Place a large piece of wood or a woodpile in a quiet area of the yard. I like to incorporate large pieces of wood, such as the one in the photo, in my garden as a decorative piece. This unusually shaped piece of wood looks natural and you can see that some critter has created an entrance to his home where the piece of wood curves. Nothing makes me smile more than making this discovery.

Wildlife Friendly Tip

This half wire basket was repurposed to hold Spanish moss, dryer lint and any other material that birds can use to build nests. When I find a fallen nest I separate it and place the materials in this basket, too.

I'm more than willing to give the birds a little help if I can entice them to nest in my garden.

Attracting wildlife to your garden is only half the equation. To get them to set up home means providing nesting opportunities and that's not difficult to do with a little thought and planning. Your garden will come alive with the sounds and sights of many varieties of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, frogs, squirrels, snakes, armadillos and other types of wildlife. Yes...I said snakes and armadillos! That's all part of creating a "Florida-friendly wildlife habitat" folks.