CREATE A WILDLIFE HABITAT IN YOUR YARD
All you need are the three essential elements for wildlife to flourish:
1. FOOD :: Natural food like berries, nectar, acorns and other nuts. You can also provide birdseed.
2. WATER :: If you don’t have a natural water source on your property, you can provide water in dishes, a birdbath, or fountain.
3. SHELTER :: Dense shrubs, vine masses, dead trees, underbrush, wood piles, bird houses, gourds, or shelves.
If you want to get very serious about your wildlife habitat, you can follow the directions and register your habitat with the National Wildlife Federation.
Caution: If you add a feeder or water to your yard, you can also attract unwanted critters into your house. So take care to put keep your feeders away from the house.
GROW SEEDS IN A JAR
This is easy peasy and great for young kids.
- Buy some dried pinto beans at the grocery store.
- Find a clean, clear jar and put a moist paper towel at the bottom of the jar.
- Put 2-3 beans in the jar and cover with a lid.
- Put in a sunny windowsill and watch them grow!
- When they are too big for the jar, you can uncover it.
- When the threat of a frost is gone, plant in your garden.
MAKE YOUR OWN HUMMINGBIRD NECTAR
We have started to see a few hummingbirds in our yard, and that reminded me to put our hummingbird feeders back out. (We can actually leave our feeders out all year long in Georgia, but I like to take a break from making the nectar and cleaning the feeders in the winter months.)
It’s easy and healthier for the hummingbirds to make your own nectar. Just boil 1 part sugar to 4 parts water until the sugar dissolves. I usually do 1 cup of sugar and four cups of water, and I store the excess in my refrigerator.
Tip: Make sure your hummingbird feeder is red, especially the tip where your hummingbird will be feeding from. We have tried feeders that weren’t red, and no hummingbird went to them! There is no need to add red food coloring to the nectar.
Also, be sure to clean the feeders often in order to prevent mold or bacteria from forming inside, which could make the hummingbirds ill.
SHELLI BOND PABIS is home | school | life magazine’s senior editor. She writes about her family’s homeschooling journey at www.mamaofletters.com.