Creating a Wildlife Habitat, Part IV: Safe Places

Image courtesy Unsplash

Image courtesy Unsplash

In recent weeks we’ve discussed how to provide food and water. In this article we’ll look at providing cover and places to raise young.

Just as with food and water, these elements can be natural or man-made.

Cover gives an animal a place to escape predators. Trees, shrubs, rock piles and brush piles are great examples of places to dart into cover. Think about proving cover at different levels, from the ground up. Using native plants can give you cover as well as food, so you get a double benefit. They can also provide nesting sites for those animals who use trees and shrubs.

Man-made cover and places to raise young are the many boxes available. Examples include houses for bats, owls, birds and bees, just to name a few. Do your research to find out how to provide appropriate housing for whatever you’re trying to attract. Bat houses have to be at a certain height and face a certain direction. Particular species of birds require boxes of a certain size and the hole must be a specific diameter. Birds generally prefer to have cover behind (but not touching) the box, with open area to the front. You can even make a toad abode by turning a terra cotta flower pot on its side so that the toads have easy access to a cool place.

A common design for a    bat house

A common design for a bat house

In short, think like the wildlife you’re trying to attract. Location and protection is very important to wildlife.

Next time you’ll find out how to certify your wildlife habitat and how you can order a sign.