Winter is a terrific time to work on projects to help you attract wildlife next spring. Do you want to attract more songbirds? How about bats to help keep down insects like mosquitoes? You can encourage important pollinators by building an insect hotel or nesting box for solitary bees and placing it outside in the early spring. Enlist your children/grandchildren to help plan a butterfly-friendly/bee garden using a combination of native plants and more.
If you have a friend or family member who loves wildlife, consider the gift of a bird house, feeder or bird bath. Encourage native solitary bees with the gift of a bee nesting block or house. Gift certificates to your local nursery would make great stocking stuffers. Field guides, journaling notebooks and a set of binoculars are great gifts any time of year.
Nebraska Extension has a number of resources to help you encourage beneficial wildlife to your backyard. Here are just a few available at http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest or at the Extension office:
- “Backyard Wildlife: Feeding Birds” (NebGuide G2003)
- “Backyard Wildlife: Birdhouses & Shelves” (NebGuide G2002)
- “Landscape Plants for Wildlife” (NebGuide G1572)
- “Bat House Construction & Installation” (NebGuide G1575)
- “Butterfly Gardening” (NebGuide G1183)
- “Attracting Pollinators to Your Landscape” (354) includes native bee nest box plans
For more information and resources on attracting wildlife to your backyard, contact your local extension office. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml
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This article appeared in the free November/December 2014 NEBLINE Newsletter published by Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.