When you think of Springtime outdoors, you may picture butterflies floating from flower to flower and birds singing in the trees. You should consider designing your yard to attract wildlife, whether you are interested in conservation, you are a wildlife admirer, or you want a beautiful landscape for an affordable cost. In order to turn your central Alabama yard into an oasis for native birds and pollinators, you need to recruit DSLD Land Management, the experts of residential landscaping in Birmingham, AL. There are several steps you can take to attract butterflies and birds as well as improve water quality and increase the quality of life for existing wildlife.
Plant specific perennials and annuals
Planting the appropriate shrubs, perennials and annuals can give pollinators both food sources and the necessary habitat to complete reproduction. Plant native flowers and trees if at all possible. Here are some examples:
Native plants for butterflies: wisteria, dill, sassafras, common blue violet, foxglove, nettles, and milkweed
Native trees for butterflies: dogwood, beech, Loblolly pine, black cherry, cottonwood
Invasive species to avoid: butterfly bush, Lantana, tropical milkweed (click here for a more detailed explanation from AL Butterfly Atlas)
Juicy, overripe fruit can be a nice treat for butterflies as well, but it’s not just about feeding the butterflies. It’s also about having a place for them to successfully lay eggs. Certain invasive species may provide good nectar but are toxic to eggs and/or caterpillars. For a more extensive list of host plants and flowers, visit Alabama Butterfly Atlas.
Consider leaving dead trees alone
It’s ok to clean up your landscape to freshen it up and make it look its best, but consider leaving that dead or dying tree alone if you’re wanting to attract native birds. Obviously this ONLY applies if it isn’t a potential danger to you or your home. A dead or dying black cherry tree (for example) can be the perfect habitat and shelter for birds and the insects they eat.
Here are some landscape and garden reminders from the Alabama Wildlife Center:
- Canopy trees provide nuts, seeds, and fruits, as well as cavities and limbs for nesting and shelter from the weather and from predators.
- Understory trees and shrubs provide dense cover for nest sites and for young birds just learning to fly.
- Evergreen shrubs give shelter for wintering birds.
- An open, sunny meadow or a food patch planted with self-seeding native grasses attract many types of birds.
- Dead trees are magnets for woodpeckers, nuthatches, and other insect eaters.
Add a water feature
Ponds and other similar low-lying water features are a great addition to your landscape because they provide birds and other animals water for drinking and bathing. Surrounding a pond with small pebbles is even better because it gives pollinating insects a warm place to rest. DLSD Land Management has a waterscapes team that can help make a pond or other water feature work seamlessly with your landscape.
These are just a few ideas on how to attract birds and butterflies to your yard. With the help of DSLD Land Management, you can turn your landscapes into an oasis of native plants and animals! Contact us today!