How to Cultivate a Wildlife Habitat in Your Outdoor Area

Apartment Therapy's Guide to the Perfect Summer

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You don't have to travel far or trek over dangerous landscapes to experience the fauna of the natural world. The relaxing past time of watching birds, squirrels, butterflies and more can be enhanced by taking the time to turn all or some of your outdoor area into a wildlife-friendly habitat. Here are some ideas on how to do it.

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The National Wildlife Federation has a pretty simple explanation of what it means to create a healthy wildlife habitat in your backyard, balcony or other outdoor area, and their website provides tons of ideas on where to start. Here's what a wildlife habitat needs:

1) You've got to have food for wildlife to eat
Bird feeders, hummingbird feeders, plants that attract butterflies (research which plants grow best in your region), snacks for squirrels and more is the best way to attract some feathered, winged and furry wildlife. Find NWF's ideas on how to feed wildlife here.

2.) Don't forget about water!
I love bird feeders but I often forget to leave water out. Especially important for those who live in hotter climates. Bird baths work, so do little ponds and more; NWF has more wildlife watering inspiration for you.

3. Create a place for wildlife to be protected and raise young
It's not just bird houses — there are lots of ways you can create an area that a bird or other creature might want to make home, like certain types of plants and shrubs that they can get comfy in. More ideas.

Have you created a wildlife habitat in your outdoor area? Tell us about it! Or better yet show us — email me some photos or tag us in social media!

*The photos in this post were taken at the amazingly lovely The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.


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(Image credits: Adrienne Breaux; Janel Laban)

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Adrienne photographs beautiful homes in and around her home base of Austin, Texas. She's a contributor to UPPERCASE Magazine and spends all her free time exploring small town Texas. She watches a lot of Star Trek.