AVOID GARDEN CLEAN UP
Lazy gardeners rejoice! When fall comes around, do not hasty to cut back perennials and dead annual stems. Don't rake up the twigs and pine needles. Leave the mulch alone. Let grass clippings lie on your lawn. You are doing a service to local wildlife - not to mention your soil as the organic material will also enrich your soil as it decays.
Spider webs make great bird nest fodder!
Mulching with organic materials - above, pine needles - help the soil and provide nesting materials.
The robins' nest (above) fell from one of our trees during a windstorm last year. As you can see, much of it is comprised of twigs and pine needles. A fair amount of the bottom, though is from the native bunch grasses (below) that I put in a couple of years ago.
California native "deer grass".
USE ORGANIC MATERIALS IN THE GARDEN
Last year, I made the decision to skip plastic garden tape and opt for twine. To ditch the metal and plastic plant markers and use wooden popsicle sticks. I wanted biodegradable-only materials in the garden.
I was glad of my decision when I watched finches gathering strands from last year's bean tepee twine for this year's nests.
Three years ago (I kid you not!), I invested $5 in a ball of cotton batting from local birding store. We do not have snow here in California but we do (occasionally) have rain. This fluff has remained on the tree year in and out and is used every year by birds building nests.
Just this January, I watched a mother hummingbird gathering material multiple times. Unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough to get a good photo but you get the idea.
Even though it seems like a great reuse, do NOT offer dryer lint which can be harmful to birds.
PET HAIR AND SCRAPS
Finally, you can pull together your small yarn scraps, bits of twine and pet hair. Put them in a suet or peanut bird feeder or mesh bag and hang them on a tree. Word of warning - pet hair is the most favorite of birds in our garden. We've even have fights break out over it.
By following these simple steps, you can welcome more wildlife into your garden.
This post is part of Tuesday Garden Party, Green Thumb Thursday, and Maple Hill Hop.