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Backyard Habitats

The annual Great Backyard Bird Count (sponsored by the Audubon Society and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology) takes place each February.

Counting the birds in your backyard can be a terrific introduction to habitat ecology; an introduction that can easily lead to an interest in developing a backyard wildlife habitat.

Developing and maintaining a backyard habitat is a marvelous hands-on approach to biology and botany. You will have a living laboratory at your fingertips. There are numerous opportunities for conducting genuine scientific fieldwork in your backyard--- from conducting bird and mammal counts, to studying the interplay between insect populations and bird visitors, to examining animal tracks, signs and scat, to observing mating and nesting behaviors.

While developing a thriving habitat takes careful planning and a serious commitment, you can easily start with some bird feeders, a bat house, and bird bath.

Be sure to check out the links below for detailed information on creating backyard habitats.

Related Resources

Backyard Birding
"If you need to know how and what to feed the birds, or how large to make the entry hole on a bluebird box, or which shrubs and flowers to plant in order to attract birds, you've come to the right place. There are also yardlists and journals from backyard birders, and links to other web sites of interest."

Backyard Habitat
Detailed information for setting up a backyard habitat, including tips for attracting a wide variety of wildlife, landscaping, and appropriate plants, trees and shrubs to include in your habitat.

Backyard Wildlife Habitat
The National Wildlife Federation program to encourage individuals to plan their landscapes with the needs of wildlife in mind.

Create a Backyard Habitat
A brief guide and a number of links to helpful resources for developing a backyard habitat.

Great Backyard Bird Count
Everything you need to participate: information, submission forms, identification guides.

Overview of Wild Bird Feeding
Tips, advice and cautions on feeder placement, vegetation and seed choices from Wild Bird Centers.

The Silent Wildlife Killer
Some statistics and discussion of the serious threat to wildlife posed by domestic house cats.

An introductory guide to robotics: materials, books, web sites.

Science Books
A list of essential science reference books.

Science Equipment
A list of essential equipment for home-based science explorations.

No yard! but unfenced Nature reaching up to your very sills. - Henry David Thoreau

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