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Please send your question regarding habitat development and gardening for birds to gardening@birdzilla.com. We'll answer as many as we can and post selected answers here.

Q. Wildlife doesn't just randomly occur in a given area; it is there in response to habitat which meets its needs. What are the four essential elements of a wildlife habitat, including for birds?
DF - Atlanta, GA

A. Food, water, cover (protection from weather and predators) and space to raise a family.

Tom Patrick is president of the Windstar Wildlife Institute. Tom's company provides training and certification in wildlife habitat development programs. Thanks to Tom and some of his Certified Wildlife Habitat Naturalists for answering the questions.

Q. Feeders are used to supplement the foods provided by trees, shrubs, flowers, crops in food plots, vines and ground covers. What are the different types of feeders?
TR - LA, CA.

A. Cylindrical, hopper, suet, hummingbird, squirrel and fruit.

 

New Mexico Plants for Wildlife Habitat & Conservation Landscaping
Do you enjoy observing nature...hearing the song of the chickadee...watching hummingbirds fill up on nectar from trumpet vines...listening to the chattering of squirrels...seeing the beauty and grace of a monarch butterfly perched on a milkweed... experiencing the antics of a Mockingbird...the cooing of the Mourning Doves...the swiftness of the Cottontail...and the brilliance of a Cardinal or Baltimore Oriole?

If the answer is "yes", you'll probably want to landscape your property for wildlife so you can experience even more from Mother Nature by attracting more wildlife to your property.

Wildlife doesn't just randomly appear in a given area. It is there because of favorable habitat. The essential elements that you must provide in your habitat are food, water, cover and a place to raise a family. To attract the most wildlife, you need native trees, shrubs, groundcover, vines and wildflowers, many of which will provide food and shelter.

Native or indigenous plants naturally occur in the region in which they evolved. They are adapted to local soil, rainfall and temperature conditions, and have developed natural defenses to many insects and diseases. Because of these traits, native plants will grow with minimal use of water, fertilizers and pesticides. Wildlife species evolve with plants; therefore, they use native plant communities as their habitat. Using native plants helps preserve the balance and beauty of natural ecosystems.

Remember the function served by plants and structures is more important than their appearance. In other words, don't base your planting decisions solely on what a plant looks like. Following are WindStar Wildlife Institute's plant recommendations for wildlife habitats in New Mexico.

Trees
Western White and Douglas Fir; Rocky Mountain and Bigtooth Maple; Mountain Birch; Netleaf Hackberry; Desert Willow; Arizona Cypress; Arizona and Flowering Ash; Arizona, Texas and River Walnut; Alligator, Utah and Rocky Mountain Juniper; Engelmann and Colorado Blue Spruce; Bristlecone, Pinyon, Linber, Ponderosa and Southwestern White Pine; Arizona Sycamore; Western Cottonwood; Quaking Aspen; Wild Plum; Arizona White, Blackjack, Gambel's and Gray Oak; Mexican Buckeye

Shrubs
Fern Acacia; Whitethorn; Speckled Alder; Bee Brush; Utah Serviceberry; Desert Honeysuckle; Four-wing and Spiny Saltbush; Desert Hackberry; Cliff Rose; Larchleaf Goldenweed; Western Coral Bean; Winterfat; Apache Plume; Wright's Catclaw; One-seed Juniper; Anderson Wolfberry; Fremont, Red, Creeping and Agarito Barberry; Chokecherry; Shrub Live Oak; Smooth Sumac; Western Thimbleberry; Red Raspberry; Mexican Elderberry

Flowers
Monkey flower, Lupine, Sunflower, Cardinal Flower, Penstemon, Blanketflower, Prairie Rocket, Hummingbird trumpet, Nodding Onion, Blue Columbine, Desert Marigold, Desert Paintbrush, Narrow-leaf Fireweed, Larkspur, Beeplant, Cut-leaf Coneflower, Evening Primrose, Phlox, Goldenrod

Vines
Clematis; Snapdragon; Arizona and Canyon Grape

Cactus
Hedgehog, Strawberry, Barrel and Pancake Cactus, Yucca

Grasses
Sand, Little and Big Bluestem, Sideoats, Black and Blue Grama: Buffalo Grass, Switchgrass, Canada Wild Rye; Sweet Grass; June Grass; Mountain, Bush and Purple Muhly; Indiangrass; Tall, Sand and Mesa Dropseed

The eastern third of New Mexico is covered by the Great Plains. The Great Plains run from a high plateau in the north south to the Pecos River. Rivers in the high plateau have cut deep canyons into the landscape. South of the Canadian River, along the eastern edge of New Mexico, the land is referred to as the High Plains or Staked Plains (Llano Estacado). In the central part of New Mexico, the Rocky Mountains extend into New Mexico from Colorado to the north. The Rio Grande River cuts through the Rocky Mountains from north to south. East of the Rio Grane, is the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) Mountain range. To the west of the Rio Grande are the Nacimiento and Jemez Mountain ranges. The fertile Rio Grande Valley provides suitable farm land using modern irrigation techniques. The Basin and Range Region covers about one-third of the state and lies to the south of the Rocky Mountain Region. This region extends south from around Sante Fe to Mexico and west to Arizona. This area is marked by rugged mountain ranges, such as the Guadalupe, Mogollon, Organ, Sacramento, and San Andres mountain ranges, separated by desert basins. The Native Plant Society of New Mexico can provide lists of plants for a specific region.

For more information on improving your wildlife habitat, visit the WindStar Wildlife Institute web site. On the web site, you can also apply to certify your property as a wildlife habitat, register for the "Certified Wildlife Habitat Naturalist e-Learning course, become a member and sign up for the FREE WindStar Wildlife Garden Weekly e-mail newsletter.


Birdzilla.com - P.O. Box 181 - McKinney, TX 75070
Phone: 972-562-7432
.......E-mail: info@birdzilla.com
Copyright Birdzilla.com 2003,2004, 2005 - All rights reserved.

Birdzilla.com - P.O. Box 181 - McKinney, TX 75070
Phone: 972-562-7432
.......E-mail: info@birdzilla.com
Copyright Birdzilla.com 2003 - All rights reserved.