The wildlife you love, enjoy, and care for during the warmer months may run into trouble during cold and harsh winters. Providing food, water and shelter in your yard are just a few ways to make winter for backyard wildlife a little bit easier!

Shelter

It’s easy to provide a little extra shelter for wildlife during colder months. Although born with natural instincts to survive, animals like birds, squirrels, chipmunks, frogs, and other ground dwellers may appreciate the resources available in your backyard. Trimming branches from trees to make a small brush pile is an easy way to create a shelter and prevents old or lose limbs from falling during heavy snow. A small brush pile, even just a foot or two tall, will provide warmth and a great source of cover for small mammals avoiding larger, predatory animals. Some wildlife may even take shelter under stored firewood by burrowing beneath the stack for protection and warmth. You can even take it one step further and plant additional bushes or evergreen trees to provide natural shelter for the birds and animals year round!

Source Of Water

Many people think that animals can get water simply by eating snow. Unfortunately, this isn’t an optimal source of hydration and it’s very difficult for birds or small animals to find a source of water that isn’t frozen during winter months. Purchasing a bird bath heater is a great and inexpensive way to keep birds visiting you all year round.  You can also purchase a heated bucket (typically sold for livestock) as another alternative to protect wildlife in your area from dehydration.

Food

Small mammals will forage any left over nuts, berries, and seeds at the first signs of winter. Unlike other wildlife, birds continue to feed throughout the winter to stay alive and care for their chicks. You can help them find food sources by filling bird feeders or garden ornaments with foods that are high in fat and oil content. Prime winter food for birds will include black oil sunflower seeds, suet cakes, peanuts, and millet.

Most wildlife can survive the winters until spring arrives. But if your goal is to keep as many around your yard all year long as possible, making the winter more comfortable for the animals and birds near you will certainly be a good way to attract them.

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