Trees provide the scaffolding and materials for some nesting birds and other wildlife. You already know that insects in trees, seeds, fruit and flowers are a food source as well. But trees are insufficient to meet the needs of some birds and other terrestrial species. That’s where the vegetation in our backyards plays an important role.
Let’s imagine the landscape around our apartments and homes as habitat patches—much like unique panels in a hand-stitched quilt. If climate and wildlife suitable plants are incorporated, collectively our yards can support wildlife across hundreds of acres of developed land. So, if we were a bird, bee or butterfly in flight, instead of coursing through buildings and finding mostly fragments of unwelcoming habitat, we’d be discovering a connected smorgasbord of food, shelter and places for raising offspring. Did you know that connectivity and abundance are important? They make the difference between which species survive and which do not.
Many books and resources on the internet are available to assist us. Sea and Sage Audubon Society recently created a snap-shot brochure for creating wildlife friendly gardens, as well as a plant list for Orange County, California. However, much of its content applies to any garden in the United States. The Native Plant Society as well as the Audubon Society offer helpful information for your region of the country.
Here are photos of some private properties in California that have decided “my yard matters.”