Attracting Wildlife to Your Backyard: 101 Ways to Make Your Property Home for Creatures Great and Small

Attracting Wildlife to Your Backyard: 101 Ways to Make Your Property Home for Creatures Great and Small

by Josh VanBrakle

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Overview

Many people think of wildlife as something distant, creatures living in natural forests and remote public preserves. But most wildlife in the United States isn't found in the distant wild. It lives on our private lands, in our very backyards. Because of this, America's ten million woodland owners are in fact at the forefront in protecting US wildlife for generations to come.
But while most landowners want to help preserve the beauty of the natural environment, most are unsure where to begin. In Attracting Wildlife to Your Backyard, author and landowner Josh VanBrakle provides readers with 101 easy-to-follow activities and practical approaches to help do just that. Some projects include:

  • Installing a bat box
  • Making a food plot
  • Identifying trees that attract wildlife
  • Forming a brush pile
  • Assessing a stream's health
  • Building a pond
  • Learning bird calls
  • Planning a backyard scavenger hunt
    Complete with stunning wildlife photographs and an appendix of practical resources, Attracting Wildlife to Your Backyard is an essential read for anyone who cares about the environment.
  • Product Details

    ISBN-13: 9781510728486
    Publisher: Skyhorse
    Publication date: 03/06/2018
    Pages: 312
    Sales rank: 795,290
    Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

    About the Author

    Josh VanBrakle is the Research Forester for the New York City Watershed Agricultural Council and has worked with private woodland owners for over five years. He holds an M.S. in Forest Resources Management from the State University of New York and is the author of Backyard Woodland: How to Maintain and Sustain Your Trees, Water, and Wildlife. He lives in the Catskills with his wife.

    Table of Contents

    Disclaimer xi

    Acknowledgments xiii

    Part 1 Before You Begin 1

    Chapter 1 Private Landowners and Wildlife: A Vital Connection 3

    The Role of Private Landowners 7

    What Are You Going to Do About It? 11

    Chapter 2 What Do Wildlife Need, Anyway? 14

    Food 15

    Water 17

    Cover 19

    A Place to Raise Young 20

    Space and Habitat 21

    Doesn't Nature Provide This Stuff? 22

    Chapter 3 Getting Started 24

    Project 1 Make a Property Map 25

    Project 2 Complete the Property Checklist 27

    Project 3 Figure Out What's Missing 28

    Project 4 Look Beyond Your Borders 29

    Project 5 Find Out If Rare Animals or Plants Use Your Land 31

    Project 6 Focus on Your Favorite Animals 33

    Project 7 Think Small 34

    Project 8 Make a Future Property Map 35

    Part 2 Focus on Habitat 37

    Chapter 4 Backyards 39

    Project 9 Replace Non-Native Ornamentals with Native Plants 40

    Project 10 Rescue Native Plants from Construction Sites 43

    Project 11 Decrease Your Lawn with Lawn Feathering 45

    Project 12 Account for Lawn-Mowing Regulations 49

    Project 13 Go Vertical with Layered Plants 51

    Project 14 Install a Bat Box 52

    Project 15 Build a Bee Nesting House 55

    Project 16 Set Up Birdfeeders 57

    Project 17 Recycle an Old Christmas Tree 62

    Project 18 Add a Birdbath 63

    Project 19 Protect Your Avian Visitors 65

    Chapter 5 Grasslands, Shrublands, and Young Woods 67

    Project 20 Site Your Young Woods 71

    Project 21 Combine Adjoining Meadows 73

    Project 22 Create Young Woods through Timber Harvesting 74

    Project 23 Do a Clearcut (Gasp!) 75

    Project 24 Make a Food Plot 79

    Project 25 Install a Bluebird Box 81

    Project 26 Build a Grouse Drumming Log 83

    Project 27 Prune a Wild Apple Tree 84

    Project 28 Maintain Your Young Woods 87

    Project 29 Protect Ground-Nesting Birds from Mowing and Haying 89

    Chapter 6 Old and Interior Woods 91

    Project 30 Connect Isolated Woods with Corridors 92

    Project 31 Learn the Four Types of Wildlife Trees 94

    Wildlife Tree Type 1 Hard Mast 95

    Wildlife Tree Type 2 Soft Mast 96

    Wildlife Tree Type 3 Wolf Trees 97

    Wildlife Tree 4 Cavity Trees 99

    Project 32 Identify and Protect Legacy Trees 100

    Project 33 Thin the Woods to Get Growth at Every Level 103

    Project 34 Create Small Gaps 104

    Project 35 Leave Dead Trees in Place 105

    Project 36 Girdle a Tree 107

    Project 37 Build a Brush Pile 108

    Project 38 Don't Graze Livestock in the Woods 110

    Chapter 7 Streams 111

    The Three C's of Healthy Streams 112

    C #1 Clean 112

    C #2 Cold 113

    C #3 Complex 114

    Project 39 Assess Your Stream's Health 115

    Project 40 Look for Stream Macroinvertebrates 116

    Project 41 Create Old Woods around Your Streams 118

    Project 42 Install BMPs like Waterbars to Reduce Trail Erosion 120

    Project 43 Choose a Water- and Wildlife-Friendly Stream Crossing 124

    Project 44 Let Your Streams Flood 126

    Project 45 Add Wood to Your Streams 130

    Project 46 Stream Restoration, Part 1: Stop Harmful Practices 132

    Project 47 Stream Restoration, Part 2: Plant Trees 134

    Project 48 Stream Restoration, Part 3: Stabilize Stream Banks 135

    Project 49 Stream Restoration, Part 4: Willow Weaving 137

    Chapter 8 Wetlands 140

    Project 50 Find and Mark Your Wetlands 141

    Project 51 Buffer Wetlands from Equipment and Development 143

    Project 52 Improve Winter Food and Water Supplies by Thinning Seeps 144

    Project 53 Install a Wood Duck Nesting Box 146

    Project 54 Help a Muskrat 149

    Project 55 Build a Pond, Step 1: Purpose 150

    Project 56 Build a Pond, Step 2: Site 152

    Project 57 Build a Pond, Step 3: Design 153

    Project 58 Build a Pond, Step 4: Install 154

    Project 59 Build a Pond, Step 5: Maintain 156

    Part 3 Challenges to Wildlife 157

    Chapter 9 Invasive Plants 159

    Project 60 Prevent: Use Native Landscaping 161

    Project 61 Prevent: Clean Clothes, Gear, and Equipment after Going in the Woods 163

    Project 62 Locate: Learn to Identify Common Invasive Plants 164

    Project 63 Locate: Monitor Your Property 165

    Project 64 Control: Decide What to Treat 167

    Project 65 Control: Use Mechanical Removal 168

    Project 66 Control: Use Herbicides (Carefully!) 170

    Project 67 Control: Remove Vines 174

    Project 68 Control: Bring in the Goat Cavalry 177

    Project 69 Restore: Replant and Monitor 179

    Chapter 10 Oh, Deer! 181

    Project 70 Assess Deer Impact with a Simple Visual Assessment 184

    Project 71 Stop Feeding Deer Corn 190

    Project 72 Take Care with Hinge Cutting 193

    Project 73 Keep Deer Out with Tree Tubes 194

    Project 74 Keep Deer Out with Deer Fencing 197

    Project 75 Hunt (Or Allow Hunting) 199

    Project 76 Donate Venison 201

    Project 77 Accept Predators 201

    Chapter 11 Keeping Open Space Open 203

    Project 78 Enroll in Your State's Property Tax Reduction Program 206

    Project 79 Get a Conservation Easement 207

    Project 80 Plan Your Legacy 209

    Part 4 Making It Last 213

    Chapter 12 Finding Funding 215

    Project 81 Get a Management Plan-The Forest Stewardship Program 217

    Project 82 Get Paid to Protect Your Streams-The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) 219

    Project 83 Get Help with On-the-Ground Projects-The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) 220

    Project 84 Get Technical Advice and Funding for Habitat Restoration-Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program 222

    Project 85 Get Low-Cost Seed for Food Plots and Tree Planting-The Wild Turkey Federation's Conservation Seed Program 223

    Project 86 Connect with Local Groups for More Opportunities-Urban and Community Forestry 225

    Chapter 13 Monitoring Your Work 227

    Project 87 Keep a Nature Journal 228

    Project 88 Do an Egg Carton Observation 231

    Project 89 Use Photo Points and Time Lapse Photos 233

    Project 90 Learn Bird Calls 235

    Project 91 Learn Other Wildlife Signs 237

    Project 92 Take Apart an Owl Pellet 239

    Project 93 Install Trail Cameras 241

    Night Image Type 243

    Detection Zone 243

    Trigger and Recovery Time 243

    Battery Life 244

    Cellular Capability 244

    Megapixels 245

    I Have My Camera. Now What? 245

    Chapter 14 The Next Generation 247

    Project 94 Turn over Fallen Logs 249

    Project 95 Look and Listen for Spring Frogs 250

    Project 96 Screen a Nighttime Bug Movie 251

    Project 97 Go on an Owl Prowl 252

    Project 98 Call a Turkey 253

    Project 99 Do a Backyard Scavenger Hunt 256

    Project 100 Encourage Free Play 257

    Project 101 Involve and Inspire 259

    Beyond the Book 261

    State Resources 268

    Property Checklist 283

    Endnotes 286

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