Beneficial Wildlife: Birds, Butterflies, and Bats
One of the perks of living in Florida is that we get to enjoy wildlife year-round. As our communities grow, however, we encroach on the natural habitats of some of the most beautiful species local to Hernando County and the surrounding areas. Many of the animals we displace play a vital role in our ecosystem: they eat the mites, mosquitoes, and other pests that crashed the party. The good news is that you can bring the wildlife to your own backyard by including plants and water features that attract beneficial creatures such as birds, butterflies, and bats (yes – bats).
Appropriate shelter for birds, butterflies, and bats is easily achieved through the strategic placement of plants and housing. Trees and shrubs, vines along a fence line, or shaded overhangs provide a natural shelter from the heat. Don’t get carried away with the shade, though, because sunlight is an important factor, as well; birds and butterflies rely on the sun to determine their sleep, reproductive, molting, and migration cycles. To provide additional shelter, houses and feeders for birds, butterflies, and bats can be easily purchased or made then placed near food and water sources.
Native plants work best for attracting wildlife. Birds and butterflies, in particular, tend to favor flowering plants that are brightly colored. If it’s birds you want to attract, seek plants with seeds – such as sunflowers or coneflowers – to provide a food source. If it’s butterflies you desire, you’ll need to supply the larvae with a food source in addition to the mature butterflies. Bats prefer fragrant flowers, especially if they bloom in the evening. Ask a nursery specialist or consult the web for a comprehensive list of shrubs, flowers, and plants that both attract and nurture our winged friends.
Water is life! Whether you opt for a simple bird bath, an elaborate fountain, or a sufficiently watered lawn, all creatures – great and small – need water to thrive. To get started, consider creating a DIY birdbath by placing a shallow, decorative, outdoor dish near your plants to give animals a place to drink, bathe, and preen. Make sure there is a landing spot well-above water level to give them a place to perch as they drink. To attract bats, raise the bath closer to the tree canopy, as that is where they find the insects that provide sustenance.
Challenger Irrigation has over twenty years of experience servicing Spring Hill lawns. From preventing dry patches to inviting Florida wildlife, we know exactly what it takes to give you the lawn you’ve always wanted.