Encourage Birds & Wildlife with Food, Water, Shelter.
Water – There are many water sources.
- Many regular, and a heated birdbath.
- An outdoor two tier water fountain.
- A recycled bathroom sink is an in-ground drip fountain.
- A recycled tub is an in-ground pond -water for wildlife.
Shelter – There is a multitude of places to hide and survive.
- We made and placed four different pine bird boxes.
- We have a Wren nesting pipe house.
- We hung nesting baskets under our Grape Arbor.
- A Purple Martin house, that is really a Wren and Sparrow condo.
- We have a Brush pile for the birds, small mammals, and invertebrates.
- We leave Leaf Litter over winter for the small mammals, and invertebrates.
- Plus we provide what we call a ‘nesting box’ of goodies to help facilitate their nest building. It contains: small twigs, pieces of straw, leaf litter, grass clippings, cotton string, and cotton dryer lint (only cotton should be used).
Food – There are many food sources available.
- Nectar – We have a Humming Bird feeder.
- Suet – We offer them Suet eight months out of the year, October to May.
- Mixed Seed and Cracked Corn – Twice a day, in the morning, and then again in the evening, we feed them a controlled amount by scattering it on the ground, and on tray feeders. It is increased in November through to April, and on days when it is near or below freezing, we feed them three times a day, morning, afternoon, and evening.
- Household scraps – Fruits and veggies are often added to their daily diet.
- Egg Shells – We offer them egg shells during their nesting season.
- Our Fruits – We do share with Wildlife. They Love our fruit. We have: an Apple tree; eight Grape vines; Blueberry bushes; Blackberries, a ‘gift’ from the birds; Raspberries; and ‘Volunteer’ Pin Cherry trees, additional gifts from our feathered friends.
Our Mini Nature Preserve
Our Trees, Hedgerows, and Plants provide, Food and Shelter for all Our Wildlife. They provide our family’s share of oxygen. Additionally, they are natural air filters, windbreaks, and sound barriers.
In the Beginning there was…
Our Plant Inventory
- White Oak – We maintain three, there were five, we lost two due to storms.
- Black Locust
- Pin Cherry (2)
- Sassafras (2)
- Eastern Red Cedar (1)
- White pine (1)
- Apple (1)
- Blue Spruce (1)
- Sweet Gum (1) – kept dwarfed
- Rose of Sharon trees (5) (in addition to the hedgerow)
Shrubs & Bushes
- Azalea (2) 1 large, 1 small
- Blueberry (2)
- Boxwood, English (2) sempervirens
- Boxwood, True Dwarf (1) suffruticosa
- Boxwood, Littleleaf (4) microphylla Koveana
- Holly, American (1)
- Holly, Blue Princess (2)
- Holly, China Boy (1)
- Hydrangea (3)
- Rhododendron, Large
- Winter Honeysuckle
- and a Chopped up evergreen (the Robin’s Lair)
- Forsythia hedgerow – (6′ W x 40′ L) at least.
- Privet hedgerow – (3′ W x 30′ L) at least
- Rose of Sharon hedgerow – (3′ W x 60′ L)
Cover: Blackberry & Raspberry brambles, and an eight Grape vine canopy.
Groundcover: Ground Ivy, Periwinkle, Virginia Creeper, Wild Ginger
Perennial Flower & Foliage Garden: Astilbes; Bleeding Hearts; Cardinal Lilies; Daffodils; Hostas, Blue; Hostas, Variegated; Hyacinths; Jonquils; Kalanchoes; Lesser Celandine, Peony; Snow Drops; Tiger Lilies; Tulips.
Perennial Wilds Garden: Burdock, Catmint, Chickweed, Clover, Cress, Dandelions, Dock, Ground Ivy (Gill-o’er-the ground), Henbit, Lady’s Thumb, Lamb’s Quarters, Mustard, Plantain, Pigweed, Pokeweed, Dead Nettle, Self Heal, Sorrel, Violets, Wild Lettuce, Wild Garlic, Wild Ginger, Winter Cress, Wooly Mint.
A Few of the Ways Wildlife use some of our Plants
White Oak – Food: White Oak provides food for my Grackles, Jays, Nuthatches, Thrushes, Woodpeckers, Rabbits, and Squirrels. More than five hundred butterflies and moths are attracted to this host plant. The larvae of two small moth species of the Bucculatricidae family are known to feed only on the white oak leaves. Shelter: Nesting, Roosting, and Protection for many birds. Our Great Horned Owl usually returns every Fall.
Black Locust – Food: The Flowers are pollinated by Bees and Hummingbirds. Seeds are eaten by Mourning Dove, Eastern Cottontail, and Squirrels. Shelter: Many animals use this tree for cover and cavities. A good home for bird, especially Woodpeckers.
Pin Cherry – Food: Twenty-five species of songbirds and ground birds eat the fruit. Mammals of all sizes relish it. More than 400 moths and butterfly species eat the leaves.The larvae of a small moth species of the Bucculatricidae family feed on nothing but pin cherry leaves. Shelter: Nesting, Roosting, and Protection.
Sassafras – Food: Sassafras fruits are eaten by many species of birds, including my Phoebes, Gray Catbirds, Northern Flickers, Woodpeckers, Thrushes, Vireos, and Northern Mockingbirds. Groundhogs eat the leaves, and Rabbits eat the bark in winter. Shelter: Nesting, Roosting, and Protection.
Eastern Red Cedar – Food: The Cedar Waxwing is one of the principal users of red cedar berries, but many other birds and mammals, make the fruit an important part of their diet. Shelter: A favorite nesting site of; Chipping sparrows, Robins, Song Sparrows, and Mockingbirds. Juncos, Myrtle Warblers, Sparrows of various kinds, and other birds use the dense protective foliage as roosting cover.
White pine – Food: The seed-filled cones beckon sixteen species of songbirds, and small mammals. Pines are the host plants for more than two hundred butterflies and moths. Shelter: offers excellent year-round shelter.
Apple – Food: Yellow-bellied sapsuckers often feed on the sap of apple trees, leaving a grid of sap wells around the tree, Ruby-throated hummingbirds depend on these sap wells for food, especially when floral nectar is scarce. Insects feed on the sap and in turn become food for birds, including ruby-throats. Many species of bees, butterflies, moths and beneficial insects use the nectar of the apple blossoms in spring. They also feed on fallen rotting apples in fall. Shelter: provides important habitat for many birds, including Bluebirds, Flycatchers, Robins, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Orioles. Branches and cavities in apple trees are common nest sites. Many species of mammals and birds use the cavities in winter for shelter or for food caches.
Blue Spruce – Shelter: provides shelter for Siskins, Nuthatches and Crossbills.
Forsythia Hedge – Shelter: Nesting, Roosting, and Protection for birds & insects.
Privet Hedge – Food: can produce thousands of fruits, which are eaten by birds. It’s also used as food by the larvae of some (Lepidoptera) Butterfly and Moth species. Shelter: Nesting, Roosting, and Protection for birds and insects.
Rose of Sharon Hedge – Food: Flowering from July to October, it attracts wildlife in droves, Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds. Shelter: Roosting, and Protection for many birds and insects.
For the Garden
- Encourage Birds for Pest Control, by providing Food, Water, Shelter.
- Use Ladybugs, Diatomaceous earth and Milky spore for pest control.
- Use recycled Grey water for garden, if you can.
- Use Rain barrels, if you can.
Repurposing, Recycling, Reusing
- In 1985, we recycled a bathtub as an in-ground pond.
- In 2005, we recycled another bathtub into a raised bed herb garden.
- In 2015, we recycled yet another bathtub into an additional raised bed garden.
Thanks for stopping by…
I hope you join me on my journey, as I recount many things from my past, and explore the many other creative possibilities in my future. – OmaEagle