If you think it’s difficult to make it through some of these dreary winter days, imagine the animals that live in your neighborhood. Of course, they’re built to survive in this weather, but sometimes humans unintentionally make it harder for them. Here are 4 tips you can use to ensure the wildlife in your area are thriving, not just surviving, this season.
1. The first thing you can do is—nothing!
You might be itching to clear out the dead flowers or plants in your garden or outdoor space but leaving them untouched provides food and protection for animals. And when spring rolls around, birds can use those same stalks to build their nests.
2. Create a Brush Pile
While clearing your yard of sticks and branches, place them in an out-of-the-way space in your yard to create a brush pile. Start with a layer of larger branches, then loosely add smaller sticks, grasses, and leaves. This will create a cozy shelter used by chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, and even some reptiles and amphibians throughout the winter.
3. Supply Clean Water
All animals need water, and, in the winter, their source of water may freeze over. You can fill a bird bath or outdoor container with water to give your local animals a fresh supply. Be sure to check on it often and if it’s frozen, you can pour warm water on it or break up the ice.
4. Make a Bird Feeder
Who doesn’t love a good buffet? Birds, squirrels, and quite a few other animals certainly do! Place bird feeders out in your yard with mixed seeds and watch your guests flock to the smorgasbord. You can get the whole family in on this by making bird feeders and then watching and identifying the different birds and animals that come to feast.
And even if you don’t have a yard for these suggestions, your local animal or wildlife shelter is happy to accept donations of food or supplies.
What a privilege it is to share our world with so many interesting creatures that help keep the environment in balance. Let’s do our best to respect their home.