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Planting for Wildlife

One of the best ways to help our local wildlife populations is to enhance habitat on your own property. Wildlife need more than dedicated parks and green spaces to survive and flourish – they require continuous corridors of suitable habitat and open space. Backyard habitat enhancement is a great way to help connect isolated pockets of habitat while also improving the value and aesthetics of your property.

Scrub Jay - Jim Cruce
Scrub Jay - Jim Cruce

One of the best ways to help local wildlife populations is to enhance habitat on your own property. Wildlife need more than dedicated parks and green spaces to survive and flourish – they require continuous corridors of suitable habitat and open space. Backyard habitat enhancement is a great way to help connect isolated pockets of habitat while also improving the value and aesthetics of your property.

Habitat consists of three basic elements: food, water, and shelter. The following pages detail what you can do to provide all three elements for local birds and other wildlife. The Audubon Society of Portland also conducts occasional workshops for the community on backyard habitat enhancement. Please contact Tom Costello (tcostello@audubonportland.org) for more details.

Read our For The Birds pamphlet for an overview of what you can do to in your own backyard to help wildlife, and then dig into more detail with the following resources.

Bird Nest Boxes

As wildlife habitat dwindles in urban areas and elsewhere, it becomes harder for birds that depend on woodpecker-drilled nest cavities to find natural nesting sites. Although they are no substitute for retaining large expanses of native habitat, artificial nest boxes can provide birds with alternatives. 

Since nest boxes are meant to replace natural cavities, they work best when they are made of natural wood and without any adornments, including perches. 

Habitat

Insects

The Xerces Society has good references for backyard habitat enhancement, including the resources listed below. Please visit their website for more information on native pollinator conservation: www.xerces.org.

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