At some point you may want to try to attract a specific animal, insect, or plant to live on your property. I have heard people talk about wanting to have more birds, butterflies, and other things visit, and or live on their property. Many times, people will plant a specific plant, put in a bird house, or a water feature in the hopes that they will attract wildlife. But then they are disappointed when over time the visitor does not come. I have learned that it can be tricky to attract living things to your property. But there are some things you can do that will greatly enhance your ability to attract animals, insects, and birds if you first understand the living organism first.
Every living thing needs three things to survive. Insects, animals, and plants all need these three essential things to thrive and live in an environment. If you want to attract specific insects, animals, or plants to your property, you need to supply them with the correct, water, food, and shelter.
First, every living organism needs water. If you can provide the water that the living system needs, you have over come the first obstacle. Not only do they need water, but they need the correct, amount, type, and source of water. Some animals need running water, while others need standing water. When you research what water the living organism needs that you want to attract, you have to keep in mind the depth, flow, temperature, mineral content, and a number of other things. To make the environment livable for a specific creature, you need to supply the correct amount of water. It is not about making water available, but about making the correct amount, and type of water available.
For example, if you want to attract bees to your property, one way to do that is to give the bees a shallow pool of water that they can stop in and drink from. Most people only concentrate on the flowers or the food bees need of attract them, but water can also attract bees. This article talks specifically about bees and how to provide water for them: Thirsty bees
Second, all living organisms have a need food. Everything has to consume some type of food to survive. For plants it is not only minerals from the ground, but also energy from the sun. If you can supply the correct type of food for the living creature, you can attract it, and encourage it to stay on your property. Food sources could include plants, insects, and other animals. If you want to attract certain types of birds, you may need to also attract the insects that they use as a food source. Food sources can very drastically from one species to another. It is very important that you research what food source, and types of food the organism needs that you are trying to attract.
For Example, if you want to attract a specific type of bird to your property, you would need to research the type of flowers, that those birds are attracted to. Birds are so varied in their food sources that research is key. Hummingbirds enjoy different flowers than a swallow would enjoy. And if you are trying to attract birds of prey, it is not the flowers that will attract them, but the animals that are attracted by the flowers.
Third, all organisms need some type of shelter. Shelter serves several purposes. It allows the creature to stay out of the elements if it needs to. It can keep snow, rain, sun and other elements away when they could become to harsh for the creature to survive. But it can also provide a place for the creature to hide from predators as well. Shelters will be different for most living creatures. If you want to attract a specific type of bird, you will probably need a specific type of nesting box.
On thing that we have tried is to create an area where insects can find a home on Quail Run Farm. We have created our Fairy Hotel to try to encourage insects to take up residence. We have also encouraged Kestrels to take up residence on the property by having a Kestrel nesting box put in place.
If you want to attract a living organism to your property or yard, you need to do some research. If you can find out what type of water, food, and shelter the organism needs, you may be able to get it to take up residence in your yard.
You will also want to eliminate habitat for the predators of the creatures you are trying to attract. Pets can also keep certain creatures from finding your property a place they want to habitat.
The opposite is also true. If you have a pest that you want to get rid of, you can declare war on that pest by eliminating one or all three of the things they need to survive. For example, you don’t like snakes around your yard, then eliminate the food source, or the shelter for the snake. You will find that you can do things to convince almost any living creature to move on, and find water, food or shelter in another yard.