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Attracting Backyard Visitors

Itís easy to attract birds to your yard, especially in winter.

Feeders. Different feeders attract different birds.


  •   A ground feeder attracts blue jays and doves

  •   A tabletop feeder attracts sparrows and finches, as does a tube feeder, which also attracts cardinals and chickadees

  •   Tree-trunk feeders lure woodpeckers

  •   Be sure to clean feeders often to prevent disease transmission to birds


  •   For the birdsí safety, place your feeders out of the reach of any cats

  •   Place the feeder near a tree or bush so they have a safe place to hide


  •   Black oil sunflower seeds will attract a wide variety of birds

  •   Suet-a hard, white dry fat (available in supermarkets and pet-supply stores)-is tasty to woodpeckers and black birds

  •   Smear a few teaspoonfuls of peanut butter on a pinecone, roll it in seeds, and hang it up for the birds to enjoy

  •   Thistle attracts a wide variety of finches


Water is helpful for birds throughout the year. They enjoy a cool sip of water and can also bathe in it.

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Create A Butterfly Habitat

Conserve butterflies! Many butterfly feeding and breeding grounds have been destroyed because of pesticides and the construction of housing and shopping centers. So creating a butterfly garden will not only attract these beautiful winged creatures to your yard, but can help them flourish again.

Steps to a beautiful garden

  •   Go to a bookstore and read what butterflies are in your area

  •   Learn what those butterflies and caterpillars (the larval form of a butterfly) like to eat

  •   Check with a nursery to see what plants will grow well in your area

  •   Select plants that are diverse in color and bloom at different times, so you can attract butterflies all summer long

  •   Select plants such as milkweed, simple marigolds and violets which have an easily accessible opening so they can get nectar

  •   Be sure your garden receives five to six hours of sun a day and is sheltered from the wind

  •   Provide a mud puddle in a sunny spot that will provide butterflies with other essential salts and nutrients

Watching these flying flowers flit around your garden is delightful. And the satisfaction in preserving a species by providing a safe habitat is immeasurable.

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Humane Ways To Keep Animals Out of The Garden

Does every little furry and feathered creature scurry to your garden patch to eat? Itís helpful to know what animals are in your area. Here are humane ways to keep them away.

Rabbits or skunks: encircle the garden with an 18-inch high wire fence which is buried about eight inches below ground. This will prevent them from digging beneath the fence.

Gophers and squirrels: These animals burrow and eat roots of plants. Encircle the garden with an 18-inch high wire fence. Bury your fence about a foot below the surface. Bury chicken wire under all the beds and around trees and shrubs.

Deer: These animals can jump over fences. Install fencing that is at least seven feet high

Owl or snake scarecrows tend to work only temporarily, since animals ultimately catch on when the scarecrow doesnít move.

Mammals: You can drape netting over your garden until the plants are fairly large, well-established, and able to handle the occasional nibble from mammals.

Birds: We do not recommend netting. If you must use it, drape netting with very small holes and make sure there is not any excess material. Check the netting frequently as birds can get caught.

If you use poisons to kill plant-eating insects, you could be killing birds and other wildlife that eats insects. Please find natural alternatives to poisons that have detrimental effects that are not always written on the productís label.

Plant vegetation that you know animals in your area do not like.

  •   Squirrels donít like lavender and sage.

  •   Deer donít care for plants such as calendulas, irises, lavender, basil, marigolds, and fleabane.

  •   Check gardening books or call your local extension office for a specific listing of plants that thrive in your area.

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10 Ways To Reduce Your Risk of Rabies

  1. Vaccinate your pets against rabies. 

  2. Donít keep wild animals as pets. Americans keep more than 1.5 million exotic animals as petsóanimals which cannot be vaccinated against rabies. 

  3. Do not handle wildlifeódead or alive. While the virus wonít survive very long in dead animals, you should wear moisture-proof gloves before picking them up. 

  4. Avoid animals displaying unnatural behavior. Wild animals who are unusually friendly or displaying other unnatural behaviors may have the rabies virus. 

  5. Discourage contact between pets and wildlife. Donít let your pets roam or encourage them to interact with unfamiliar domestic or wild animals. 

  6. Feed your pets indoors. Leaving food outside often attracts stray dogs, cats, and wildlife to your yard. 

  7. Animal-proof your trash. Make sure your trash lids are locked, and donít leave bags of garbage outside the cans. 

  8. Prevent wild animals from getting into the house. Prune tree branches that overhang the roof. Keep screens on windows and cover small openings, such as chimneys, furnace ducts, and eaves. 

  9. Report all stray animals to animal control. Stray animals may not be vaccinated for rabies. They also run a high risk of exposure to wild animals who carry the disease. 

Give your child some guidelines to follow. Do not frighten young children, but make sure they learn some basic rules about protecting themselves from strange or unfamiliar animals.

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Contact Information

Postal address
59 Granada Road; Arab, AL 35016
Electronic mail
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Copyright © Happy Paws Haven, Inc.
Last modified: June 20, 2017