Creating Our Backyard Wildlife Habitat: Step Two, Supply Water

For those of you who are following us, you know that yesterday my son and I started to create a wildlife habitat in our backyard, following the guidelines set by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). Yesterday our focus was on providing food sources for wildlife. Today, we worked on step two… supply water for wildlife.

Certification requires that the backyard provide one water source, selected from the following list:

  • Lakefront
  • Seasonal Pond
  • Coastal
  • Birdbath
  • Water Garden / Pond
  • Rain Garden
  • Lake
  • River / Stream
  • Spring
  • Shallow Dish
  • Puddling Area

In the past, providing water in our yard for wildlife wasn’t something I thought about. Actually, my focus was on emptying out any little bit of pooled water I could find, as I don’t want any mosquitoes breeding in the yard. Also, there is a natural spring just on the other side of our fence, which is primarily what attracts wildlife near our home.

But for our actual backyard to be a wildlife habitat, we need to have a water source IN our yard. We already have a birdbath in the yard, but I’ve had it disassembled, so it won’t fill with water when it rains. Already having the birdbath made this an easy project. We simply reassembled it, tucked it into the corner of our yard, and filled with water. To prevent mosquitoes, we’ll dump the water out and refill with fresh water daily.

My son was so excited this afternoon when a blue jay actually drank some water from the birdbath. His joyous exclamations, “There’s a bird in the birdbath, there’s a bird in the birdbath, there’s a bird in the birdbath!!!” made the project feel like a success. And it was… we already had a visitor!


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