Animal lifespans depend on the same essential factors as humans : shelter, breeding and food/water. Basic survival instincts are threaded in their DNA – closer observations reveal the animal kingdom have these three essentials always in the forefront of their minds with the way they approach their environment. Understanding these factors therefore makes it clearer as to how we can encourage wildlife into our gardens and green spaces.
Luring them in will mean taking note of how you can provide perfect protective shelter, foliage to breed in and food/water sources.
Shelter : Animals love various shapes, sizes and coloured plants e.g. spiky architecture encourages curious birds, lizards, frogs, insects etc to explore; low lying brush ensure they can hide from predators plus feel safe; and multiple canopies provide havens for all sorts of animals, plus create microclimates imperative for survival. Insect motels are fun and easy to make for free from twigs.
Breeding : Birds nests in trees, so it goes without saying more trees equals more birds venturing into your yard to set up a home. There is such a joyful sense of victory in noticing a bird bringing back multi-generations of its family to breed/hatch in your garden. It’s a testament to how protected and happy they are, and what a plentiful space you have made for them.
Food : Birds, bees and beneficial bugs love colour and pollen. Growing as many flowers as possible throughout every season will turn your backyard into a winged creature magnet. Native trees encourage native birds indigenous to your area into your yard. Bees are especially attracted to the colour blue and purple, so these colours will guarantee their presence. Letting some of your veggies/herbs go to seed will attract beneficial insects, which kill off any nasty garden bugs. Leaving water with sugar syrup in bottles hanging from trees will bring in native wildlife especially birds like wattlebirds etc.
Water : Bird baths can be easily created with any solid structure without holes acting as a water receptacle. Placed at heights where predators are less likely to reach is the ideal. Water bowls down low will encourage insects/frogs/lizards and ground dwelling creatures. Baths need to be large enough to encourage large plus small critters into your yard. Placing a stick on top of bird baths assisting them to land on to take a drink or a bath is a good idea, as is a stone (or various shaped stones if you have space for them) to step onto out of the water post-bath. If they are feeling any threat, the birds, insects etc won’t come in.
Words by Hey Hoe Let’s Grow