Backyard Habitat – You Can Make a Difference!

Think of your yard as a blank slate.

If you could start from scratch, what would be your ultimate landscape design? A classical French garden? An English cottage garden? Or the tried and true suburban turf grass and shrubbery design?

All of these designs can bring style and beauty to your yard, but if your desire is to have a lot of birds and other wildlife as a part of your landscape, there are some important considerations.

Create a habitat garden! Habitat gardens display all of the beauty and style as the other designs, but they also attract and nurture a much broader variety of wildlife such as bees, butterflies, birds, and amphibians.

By creating a native landscape that provides wildlife with food, water, shelter and the places they need to raise their young, you will also play a valuable role in helping to reverse some disturbing trends in wildlife populations.

1) Food: Native plants provide food eaten by a variety of wildlife. Feeders can supplement natural food sources.

2) Water: All animals need water to survive, and some need it for bathing or breeding as well.

3) Cover: Wildlife need places to take shelter from bad weather and places to hide from predators or hunt for prey.

4) Places to Raise Young: Wildlife need resources to reproduce, and to protect and nourish their young.

5) Sustainable Practices: Maintain your yard or garden in natural ways to ensure soil, air, and water stay healthy and clean.

Research has recently quantified the loss of almost one-third of our total bird population in North America over the last 50 years, and the Monarch Butterfly population has declined by more than 80 percent since the mid-1990s. Scientists have identified habitat loss as the biggest reason for these and other wildlife declines.

Just imagine if we could re-make every suburban lawn in North America into a nurturing wildlife habitat! While once a daunting thought, it is easier and more realistic to do than ever before…thanks to Birds Canada’s Gardening for Birds program. Through the use of Birds Canada’s abundant support materials and online resources, everyone can be inspired to create a haven for wildlife in their own yard.

6) ENJOY!: After working so hard to create the ultimate backyard bird habitat, don't forget to sit back and watch the action.  Birds, bugs, and animals will want to be in the haven you've created and you get a front row seat to the show.  Whether it's a kitchen window, a beautiful patio, a blind for taking photos, or a lovely garden room or conservatory, there is so much to observe, learn, and enjoy about the nature happening all around us.

Wild Birds Unlimited is proud to support the Gardening for Birds program and encourages everyone to plant a habitat garden for birds. Visit to see how easy it is to create your own backyard habitat and to truly make a difference for the future of song birds and other wildlife.

Once you've created the ultimate backyard habitat for birds, the Canadian Wildlife Federation offers a certification program.  Proudly show off your wildlife habitat plaque!