Duck Family

I’m a lover of all animals. I know that the closer we get to winter the harder it gets for wild creatures to adjust. Our human world has interrupted their natural habitats, making it difficult for them to survive. Here are a few simple things that you can do to help out the wildlife around your home.

  1. Leave out fresh water. Make sure to change the water at regular intervals. If you live in an area that receives a hard winter there are heaters available for bird baths and ponds. You could also purchase a heated dog water dish. Make sure the items are safe for outside use.
  2. Provide natural nesting materials. Grass trimmings, leaves, and dying plants can be used by critters to create their nests and bedding. If you usually bag and toss these items, consider leaving the last trimmings of the season on a corner of your yard for the local wildlife. Many of these things are also food options for wildlife.
  3. Don’t toss your kitchen scraps! Wildlife would love to have your scraps. Eggshells and fruit scraps are great to leave out for wild creatures. The best part is that you don’t have to purchase anything, just collect the scraps in a bin and toss it in a corner of the yard when it is full. If you have a compost or brush pile then you are started on the right path.
  4. Build a nest box or shelter. If you have the space and inclination you can build a shelter for your wild friends. Create something that is elevated off the ground to prevent mold accumulation. Something a simple as a wood pile could be used a shelter for wildlife, so be mindful when reaching for that next log. Many people have used insulated plastic containers as shelters for feral cats and other small mammals.
  5. Check your car engine and wheel wells. Many small mammals and feral cats will seek shelter under warm hoods during the winter. If you park outside just take a moment and bang on the hood or honk the horn. That should chase off any cats that are hiding out in your car.

Our human habitats can be very tempting for wildlife. By giving them other options, we help provide a safer environment for them, and we get to continue to view and enjoy these amazing creatures.

For more tips on how to help your local wildlife check out The Humane Society of the United States. The Cornell Lab of Orinthology has great tips on attracting birds. Spay and Stay has an awesome tutorial for making a feral cat shelter.