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Lyric Wild Bird Food // Lyric Learning Center // Backyard Beautiful // Creating a healthful habitat

Creating a healful habitat for backyard wildlife

If you are one of the millions of people who look out their windows each morning, coffee cup in hand, hoping to catch a glimpse of a hummingbird, a doe, a playful chipmunk or an elusive red fox, then you have probably created more than a landscape. A yard filled with the sites and sounds of colorful and playful wildlife is actually a “habitat.”

What exactly is a habitat?

When you provide nutritious food, water, and shelter, and you arrange your property with the needs of wildlife in mind, then you are creating a “habitat.” To be a desirable habitat for wildlife, the size of the yard isn’t as important as the trees, shrubs and plants that live inside the boundaries and offer shelter and food for common backyard visitors like birds, deer, fox, rabbits, butterflies and bees.

To attract a particular species of wildlife, you’ll need to understand what they require to thrive so that you can plant the trees, shrubs and flowers they’ll need for food and shelter. Adding nesting boxes, feeders, and plenty of fresh, clean, moving water can add more interest and value to your backyard habitat.

Here are a few of the animals and wildlife species you may want to attract and how you can keep them all happy and healthy so that they return annually to visit your yard:

Chipmunk and Squirrels

  • Chipmunks live on the ground and dig tunnels that can be up to thirty feet long! The “chippy” lives anywhere he can find consistent and delicious food and, like squirrels, they are commonly found around human homes and buildings. Chipmunks eat nuts, seeds, and grains, and you will often find them raiding your birdfeeders along with the squirrels. If you want to enjoy their antics, but prefer to reserve the bird food for your visiting birds, then give chipmunks and squirrels their own feeding stations. Platform feeders work best filled with Lyric’s Quack ’n Snack that provides the mix of food they will enjoy. Squirrels are incredible acrobats and can leap amazing distances onto a roof or feeder. Husks of corn strategically located in corners of your yard, away from birdfeeders, may keep them “in their place,” at least occasionally.

White-tailed deer

  • The graceful gait of a white-tailed deer seen prancing though a field or across your lawn is becoming a familiar sight these days but no less astonishing for their beauty. The large white tail acts like a "flag" that so distinctly catches your eye before they disappear into the woods. Their colors change with the seasons, from reddish-brown in summer to buff in winter with a belly and underside of its tail remaining totally white. The deer sheds its hair twice a year, its heavy winter coat giving way to a lighter one in spring which is replaced again in early fall. A fawn's coat is similar to the adult's but has several hundred white spots which gradually disappear when the deer is three to four months old. You’ll see fawns born in late spring and summer and by early November a male fawn weighs about 85 pounds and a female about 80 pounds. A yearling buck can weigh as much as 150 pounds, while does of the same age weigh a bit less. The bucks grow impressive antlers that they shed each year. Corn is their preferred diet (try Lyric’s Cracked Corn for deer-feeding), but they also enjoy native foods like woody vegetation, particularly buck brush and rose, some dogwood, chokecherry, plum, red cedar, pine, and a host of other species. Sunflowers are also important. Lyric’s Quack ’n Snack is also a great mix for feeding wild deer. A Platform Feeder placed at ground level is best, but be sure the platform allows air to circulate under the feeder so mold and mildew won’t spoil the food. You will also want to secure it to the platform to prevent tipping from larger mammals that will be attracted to the food in the feeder.

Eastern cottontail

  • The most common rabbit in North America is the Eastern Cottontail. Their coloring is grayish-brown with a little black. Some have a white spot on their foreheads and white feet. The famous “Peter Cottontail” was named such because of his fluffy tail that looks like a ball of cotton. Full-grown cottontails weigh about 2 to 4 pounds and they live in just about any habitat including fields, woods, farmlands, and in our backyards, especially where there are plenty of thick underbrush for shelter and hiding from predators.

Related products:

Lyric Wildlife Food

Wildlife Food

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