We are already experiencing colder temperatures this fall, reminding us that winter is just around the corner. Humans prepare for the cold by wearing layers, turning up the thermostat and firing up the fire pit. But, what about the cute backyard animals?
Whether you live in an urban or rural setting, it’s normal to observe less animal activity during the winter. Birds will migrate and many mammals, such as squirrels and bats, will hibernate. Where do they go? It’s something we probably don’t think about, but should!
Animals need warmth and safety from the cold and you can provide them with the perfect habitat right in your backyard! Here’s how to do it.
Ever climb into your attic after a long winter to discover bat droppings galore? Some animals, such as bats, can turn into household pests during this season as they desperately seek shelter. You can avoid this by offering them a comfortable alternative. It’s super easy to build a bat box in your backyard. Not only will they leave your attic alone, but they’ll eat those mosquitoes hovering around- a bonus for you if you live by a lake!
You can also use these DIY habitats for birds to nest in the springtime and mason bees.
Fall is perennial time! Birds and other small animals (such as squirrels) just love dense bushes. Not only do they offer more cover from the elements as opposed to trees, but they will construct their own little hibernation hideouts from the small, thin branches. Plant shrubs around your home and you’ll be providing a bevy of resources for animals to use.
We’ve all seen the movie Bambi, one of the first educational tools that taught us what winter is like for animals, as Bambi and co. foraged in the cold snow for food. With plants dying off in the winter, food sources become scarce for critters. You can provide them with specific types of berries and edible plants that actually thrive in the cold! Consider planting mulberry, blackberry, elderberry, crabapple, holly, rose, and sumac.