Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher or you’re simply an animal lover who wants to help all species survive, there are steps you can take right in your own backyard to make the winter season a little more bearable for the birds and mammals that frequent your outdoor space. And doing so is a lot easier than you probably think.
Help Feed the Birds
When it comes to helping the little birds that come to your yard in search of food during the winter, setting up attractive birdfeeders that will help them get the sustenance they need when the ground is hard or covered in snow is a great place to start. Purchase seed that contains high amounts of fat and oils, such as sunflower seeds and suet. According to Avian Web, cracked corn is also a great option for ground feeding birds, such as pigeons and doves.
Provide a Clean Source of Water
Water is really hard to come by during the winter months when everything freezes over, but there are heated birdbaths that you can purchase to adorn your backyard space and provide the critters with some much-needed moisture.
Don’t Forget about the Small Critters
Small critters, such as rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks, also need a little extra help making it through the cold. Providing them with food and water, just as you would your resident birds, is easy, thanks to the feeders specifically designed for these animals. Or you can simply purchase birdfeeders that aren’t squirrel-proof so that they can feast as well.
Add the Right Plants to Your Garden
If you enjoy gardening, consider adding some plants that will provide food to wildlife throughout the winter. Varieties that grow berries are best. These include winterberry and holly bushes that will continue to provide your yard with beauty and color throughout the otherwise dreary season, and you’ll notice flocks of birds will be attracted to the delicious berries to keep them strong and healthy when the temperature drops.
Create Outdoor Shelter
Sure, you can add some birdhouses or even squirrel houses to your backyard, but you can actually create some shelter for wildlife by simply using what’s already in the natural environment. According to the Humane Society, setting up a brush pile is an affordable and easy way to both clean up branches and twigs that litter your backyard and build an area where rabbits, birds, and chipmunks can find shelter and keep warm from the elements. Simply place a layer of large tree limbs as the foundation of your brush pile and then loosely stack other branches that you find. Adding leaves and grasses can even allow you create small nooks and crannies for added protection. Just make sure you place it close to food and water sources and in a corner of your yard that’s away from heavy foot traffic.
So even though the winter makes it hard for wildlife to survive, you can easily do your part to provide shelter, food, and water to the creatures that frequent your backyard throughout the season.