Summer wildlife residents will put on quite a show.

The summer is in full swing. Migrating birds left in early May and won’t return until September. Yet we still have a wonderful variety of full time resident birds to make a morning walk interesting.

These summer wildlife residents, like the young cardinals, blue jays, downy and red-bellied woodpeckers are out learning how to survive and can be more friendly than their parents. Sometimes they just sit and watch what we are doing. Chimney swifts dart across the sky with their high pitched chirps. They look like little cigars with wings. Purple martins are infrequent now that nesting season is over and seem to have dispersed.

Although it is a nuisance at times, our back acre has been flooded on and off for two months. All it takes is three weeks for our native toad and frog tadpoles to grow legs and disperse. As the remaining undeveloped tadpoles concentrate into smaller and smaller pools of water, green herons, tricolor herons, ibis and other birds come to feast.

The rare ribbon snake, which also eats frogs and tadpoles, only lives in this wetland habitat and is occasionally carried off by a hawk, thus completing the food chain. The large non native bufo toad needs long term wetlands like ponds for their slow- to- mature tadpoles to grow in. Fish won’t eat these poisonous tadpoles, yet they will eat our tasty native toad and frog tadpoles. This is why seasonally wet areas, which don’t have fish in them, are important.

If you live next to a preserve, try allowing a small portion of your yard to flood for three weeks. The sounds of various toads and frogs calling each other will rattle your ears if you are close by and is fascinating to listen to at night.

Swallow-tailed kites are attracted to wooded lots and feed on lizards which they pick off of the trees and dragonflies caught in mid air. This crow-size raptor is black and white with a forked tail. Its beauty and magnificence will make you jump from your outdoor chair for a better look as it glides overhead.

A mix of native trees, shrubs and ground covers with a source of water is a good start when attracting wildlife. Dead trees, or at least branches, will keep the woodpeckers happy as they search for grubs in the rotted wood. Leave as many dead branches as you can, the woodpeckers will clean them off for you.

This fall and winter build some nest boxes for our spring-nesting birds. The box for the screech owl will be used by wood ducks and squirrels too.

Watching wildlife increase in your yard is extremely rewarding and a good way to teach kids that they have some control over stopping the continuing lose of our wildlife species. Just start with a few native trees and you will soon be hooked as your imagination comes alive with ideas for shrubs and wildflowers to attract more birds and butterflies.