Bridge The Gap Between Natural Areas With Wildlife Corridors

Imagine being a small bird with large (compared to you) falcons, and hawks trying to eat you. No wonder little birds look around nervously all the time and fly for cover at the slightest sound. Wildlife corridors provide cover and a protected link between feeding sites and water. These corridors are from narrow to extensive areas of dense cover. A mixture of native trees and shrubs works well by providing berries, nuts and seeds for food and thorns for protection.

Long stretches of man made clearings and bird feeders placed in the middle of the yard are giving our raptors an unfair advantage. Always place a birdbath or feeder near dense cover, and keep your cat indoors. If you notice songbirds traveling along a canal or roadway, try planting a long line of shrubs several feet wide so the birds can hide and feed there.

If you are lucky enough to live next to a nature preserve, you may want to talk to your neighbors about planting a connection from the preserve to all of your yards. Why separate yourselves from all of these cool birds and butterflies? Planned communities can do a lot with this idea. Plant cypress, red maple, pondapple and other wetland trees, shrubs and native flowers and grasses around your lakes. Plant a variety of upland species and butterfly attracting plants in the public areas. There will be less grass to mow and the kids will love to see the birds and butterflies.

A fence planted with the native corky passion vine will attract many zebra longwing and gulf fritillary butterflies. Redbay, wild lime and Chapman’s cassia will provide food for the caterpillars of the palamedes, giant swallowtail and several kinds of sulfur butterflies. Plant the wild lime away from people, it has nasty thorns. Birds love to nest in it though.

The local newspaper often has warnings about the large amounts of water, gasoline, fertilizer and chemicals that we use on our lawns and articles lamenting the loss of our wildlife to development. Why not plant wildlife corridors through your yard and help solve several problems at once.