There are so many reasons to create wildlife gardens, but the main reason for me is that seeing wildlife in my garden takes me to my happy place. In fact, the sole reason that I garden at all is to create welcoming habitat for wildlife to share my space with.
We have destroyed so much habitat that we have simply left wildlife no place to go. This is especially true in urban areas.
In the US, only 5% of available land has been protected, which means that there is just not enough space in these protected lands for all of our wildlife to survive. Add to that the fact that these protected lands are subject to “multiple use” clauses.
Multiple use means that our protected open space, whether national park, forest or wildlife refuge, state forest, park, or wildlife management area, or city park, these lands are often logged, mined, grazed by cattle, hunted, or become recreation areas where snowmobiles, ATVs, runners, bikers, and people with dogs make use of the tiny amount of space left for wildlife.
When we choose to create welcoming habitat for wildlife in our gardens, we are expanding the space where birds, butterflies, and other wildlife can thrive and survive.
Near my home in Philadelphia lies the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, which you can see from this photo is adjacent to the Philadelphia International Airport.
Amazingly enough, a pair of Bald Eagles has chosen to nest there for the second year in a row. And I went in search of that nest earlier this week.
If you follow those phone wires in the photo of the airport around to the left, you can spot the Bald Eagles nest. Can you spot it?
Here, I’ll zoom in a little closer.
And a little closer still.
Ah, there it is!
On the way around the impoundment to the nest I also got to see:
A Cardinal hiding in the brush
An adorable family of baby Mallard ducks
Many stunning Tree Swallows showing off their iridescent blue colors
A gorgeous Great Blue Heron
And was blessed to get amazing photos of a Red Tailed Hawk perched right next to the pathway.
Visiting the natural areas around me is always great reinforcement to continue to create welcoming habitat for wildlife in my garden and to work to help my neighbors do the same. Our wildlife gardens really do matter.
Also, check out this amazing Eagle nest came shared by Kelyn in the comments:
Hi Carole! Just thought I’d pass along the link to the “Eagle Cam“. I’m a gardener at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, and we’ve had a pair of eagles living on the property for several years now. The Eagle Cam is set up in the tree near the nest so viewers from all over the world can watch as the eagles raise their young. Unfortunately, last year the female was struck by a plane, so we haven’t seen any new eaglets this year, but videos from past eaglets in the nest are very cool! There’s even footage of the bachelor bringing new females back to his nest! I hope you and your readers check it out and enjoy it!
What exciting wildlife do you get to observe nearby your wildlife garden?
Carole Sevilla Brown lives in Philadelphia, PA, and she travels the country speaking about Ecosystem Gardening for Wildlife. Check out her new free online course Ecosystem Gardening Essentials, 15 free lessons delivered to your inbox every week.
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