June 15, 2012
For Father's Day, Help Wild Dads
Wildlife dads could use some help and appreciation, too
by Debra Firmani
On Father’s Day, we let our dads know how great they are. Well, we think wildlife fathers are pretty great, too. Take a few minutes this Father's Day to help out the furry and feathered dads in your neighborhood (you could even ask your own dad to join you). Here's what to do.
Keep your yard (a little) wild
This one might be music to human dads' ears: mow the lawn a little less! (Anything for the animals, right?) Always check for nesting critters like birds, squirrels, and bunnies before you trim, mow, or rake, and resist the urge to cut too much greenery. When you do trim, build a brush pile to offer protection and cover to small birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Plant native trees or hedges to offer future perching spots, cover, and food. Let your yard go back to nature »
Offer food to make your yard even more inviting to wildlife dads and their families. Set up a backyard bird feeding station and plant a wildlife-friendly garden, and put in a water feature so they can drink and bathe close by. Garden with wildlife in mind »
Even if you love watching wild animals outside, you probably don't want them in your house. Keep your home well-maintained to keep wildlife outside. (If you need to call in a professional for help, make sure you choose a good wildlife control company.) While you're at it, make sure your windows are bird-safe and cover up window wells to protect skunks and snakes from getting trapped in them. More home improvement tips »
And a few things for your dad
- A gift membership in the Urban Wildlife Sanctuary Program, of course!
- A copy of Wild Neighbors, our guide book for living in harmony with backyard wildlife, which will help him prevent potential conflicts with wild neighbors.
Helping out wildlife dads means you're also helping them get the next generation off to a good, strong start. You’ll be rewarded, too, when you get to watch all the wild things happening in your backyard. And if things go well for them they’re sure to be back next year!
Debra Firmani is a writer and long-time advocate for animals and nature. Her articles on wildlife, wild lands, backyard habitat creation, and nature education have appeared in print and online.