May is Gardening for Wildlife Month and one easy way to support wildlife in your backyard is by providing a food source.
The National Wildlife Federation recommends planting native plants around your yard. Since native plants, trees and shrubs are already adapted to our local climate, they don’t require much maintenance and are already a known food source for local wildlife. They provide nectar, seeds, fruits and nuts for wildlife. They can also attract native insects, which is good news for birds and other insect-eaters!
North Carolina State University’s Cooperative Extension is a great resource for finding local plant life that will attract the animals or insects you desire. Insert your garden’s parameters into their online database and select details about what you wish to attract, such as the season fruit or seeds will be available, when the plant will bloom or what value it will have for wildlife, such as providing food, cover or a host for butterfly larvae.
If you don’t have room for a large garden or are looking to provide food when your garden isn’t in bloom, the National Wildlife Federation suggests adding feeders for birds, hummingbirds, squirrels and butterflies that will help supplement native food sources.
Following these simple steps is an easy way to make your yard a haven for all kinds of animals. Happy gardening!