Smoky Hills Audubon Habitat Certification Program
Your backyard may already be a good habitat for birds. This program shows what elements, if any, are needed to "certify" your yard as excellent for birds. An attractive sign is available for purchase, or, the certificate is available for minimal cost. Anyone can apply. The certification is a good family education project, a boon for bird lovers, a "value added" feature for your home, and a good complement for gardeners.

How to Make a Certified Songbird Habitat

All songbirds need four basic elements to survive food, water, cover to protect against the elements and predators, and places to reproduce and raise their young.
Food: The ideal songbird habitat will sup-ply as much food as possible through native vegetation in order to meet the year round needs of many species. Locally native shrubs, trees and other plants produce foods such as nuts, berries and other seeds. Native plants also provide nectar and pol-len for necessary insects and birds. Natural food sources can be supplemented with bird seed.
Water: Most species need water for drink-ing and bathing. Water can be supplied in a birdbath, a small pond, a recirculation wa-terfall or a shallow dish. Remember to pro-vide water all year-round with the use of a birdbath heater. Cover: Dense shrubs, hollow logs, brush piles, evergreens, clumps of native grass, and rock piles all can provide a place for songbirds to find shelter from the weather or predators.
Places to Raise their Young: Dense shrubs and hollow snags in mature trees can pro-vide places for birds to raise their young. When snags are not available, nest boxes can be provided for cavity dwellers.
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