Wednesday, August 22, 2007


On a visit to blog porches one day I stopped by Manuela's place; The Feathered Nest and read a post: "...Being a Backyard Wildlife Habitat" I was immediately interested, my husband and I are both birdwatchers and have the binoculars and bird book handy at the window at all times. You never know at any given moment when we will see birds, rabbits, skunk, deer, fox and even the hint of a bear.

After reading her post I took a tour over at the National Wildlife Federation to find out if we qualified to become a certified backyard wildlife habitat. There are four things you must have in order to qualify as a BWH. The first step is by PROVIDING FOOD, you can do that through feeders or through native plants. Some of the native plants in my area that I have are; Northern Red Oak, Winterberry, Sweet Pepperbush, Red Chokeberry, Rough-stemmed Goldenrod. We also have many apple trees and raspberry bushes.

Second step is WATER, you can achieve that by either having a birdbath or have a pond. I have a couple of birdbaths in the yard, the bath in the front is our favorite because we always see house sparrows taking baths in it. Our property also flanks a pond where a great blue heron has been spotted on occasion and we have a stream running through our back property, in the summer I have a great rock I love to sit on and watch all kinds of birds flying through.

Third requirement is SHELTER, having cover and places to raise young. This can be done in several ways, the easiest using existing vegetation like shrubs or dead trees, places for wildlife to hide. Another way would be to put up nesting boxes and having a pond will create a place for wildlife to raise young. Our property is filled with multi floral rose, you know those wild roses that take over everything and are a nuisance? Well the birds and wildlife love those so we are torn about taking them down. We also have a lot of wisteria, trumpet vine, honeysuckle trees and various other vines that are great shelter, not to mention the handful of nesting boxes we have.

Final requirement is SUSTAINABLE GARDENING or gardening in a environmentally friendly way. You can so this by MULCHING, REDUCING YOUR LAWN AREA, XERISCAPING, using RAIN BARRELS and REMOVING INVASIVE & RESTORING NATIVE PLANTS. Next year my goal is to work on a xeriscaping plan, I do mulch and we do have a reduced lawn area relative to our acreage.
We met the requirements of all four areas! I filled out the application, sent it off and was so excited to see it in my mailbox this week.

So thank you Manuela for posting about the backyard habitat, I will post my sign with pride. :)


Penny Carlson said...

Michelle, Congrats! I am heading over there to fill out a form too. It looks like we qualify. Bird feeders, birdbath/water fountain. We have stream on our property, we live on 3 acres and 99% of it is naturally wooded. We don't even have a lawn....We never use pesticides on our plants. Thanks for letting me know about this.

Counting Your Blessings said...

How amazing for you! I WISH we qualified for something like that. But my retired neighbor will tell you that he has to help me even with the most simple gardening. I'm so garden-illiterate. Key words that allude me: SUSTAINABLE GARDENING =) Blessings.. Polly

The Feathered Nest said...

Congratulations! This is so wonderful. I'm so happy that you did this and look, you've already inspired one other person to do the same!