Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘backyard wildlife habitat’

Walking the Land

Friday, January 8th, 2016
CWF Biologists’ Winter Field Work

by Kelly Triece, Private Lands Biologist

Walking the Land. Photo by Kelly Triece

Walking the Land. Photo by Kelly Triece

Even during these cold winter months Conserve Wildlife Foundation biologists are out in the field! The winter is often the best time of year to fully see the land and make accurate assessments on potential management. My role as a Private Lands Biologist along with our partner the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), is to work with private landowners and help them manage their property for the benefit of wildlife and to conserve other natural resources.


Often times this means walking the property with landowners who are interested in enhancing or providing habitat for wildlife. On our walk, we look for invasive species, erosion concerns, existing hydrology, native vegetation and the potential to enhance the property for wildlife. We make recommendations on how to best manage the land for wildlife, but ultimately it is up to the owner.


Winter Field Work

Potential enhanced waterfowl and amphibian habitat.

This winter, I have met with several landowners whose goal is to provide waterfowl and amphibian habitat on their land. We have also visited forested lands to determine their suitability to create Golden-winged Warbler habitat, an endangered songbird.


Not every day is a close encounter with wildlife! But helping private landowners learn about sustainable land management and implement conservation goals on their property may help provide food, water and breeding grounds for many of New Jersey’s native wildlife species.



Learn More:


Kelly Triece is the Private Lands Biologist for Conserve Wildlife Foundation.

Volunteers needed!

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Since 2009, we’ve been active in helping to restore wildlife habitat to a former golf course in lower Cape May County. In place of the large lodge on the site we are building a “Backyard Habitat Demonstration Site.” It will feature several different habitat treatments that homeowners can use to provide habitat for wildlife in their own backyards. It includes the creation of scrub-shrub habitat, forested habitat, nectar producing plants, wildflower meadows, a pond, and a brush pile.

The site was designed by landscape designer Jeanne Marcucci with greenjean gardens LLC. Last week the site was prepped by NJ Fish & Wildlife. After the site was plowed we laid out paths that run throughout the site. Next compost will be spread to some areas (wildflower beds) and plants will be delivered on October 9th. The team at Planet Earth Landscaping will be assisting us the the compost spreading and planting.

Volunteers are needed to help plant the many native plants that were ordered on October 10-11th from 10-2pm each day. For more information or to volunteer contact Ben Wurst.

The site where 2,700 native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses will be planted for wildlife near Villas, NJ.

Ten Things:

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
You can do to help wildlife In your backyard

By Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Eastern red cedar berries provide food for a wide variety of songbirds. © Ben Wurst

1. Plant trees! The more the better, plant evergreens on the north-east side of your house and deciduous on the south side. Evergreens provide cover to birds and other wildlife in winter months and also shelter to your house from those cold NW winds. Make sure to choose native species like Eastern red cedar or Pitch pine for NW locations and Tulip poplar or Sweet gum for south locations.

2. Minimize use of pesticides and herbicides. Use only plant based pesticides, like ones made with Pyrethrum, which is made from the dried flower heads of Chrysanthemums. Try using vinegar as a natural alternative to broad spectrum herbicides. Do not use any pesticides or herbicides before any precipitation.

3. Use local and FREE mulch and compost. Many municipalities and county utility authorities provide free mulch to their residents. This is a great way to reuse a large portion of the waste stream in your county. Better yet, start a compost pile in your own backyard!

4. Use native species! They are acclimated to our climate and most are non-invasive. Many plants and trees sold at nurseries are meant to be aesthetically pleasing and most don’t provide suitable habitat for wildlife, besides providing cover.

5. Create a brush pile using branches and logs to provide cover for small mammals, reptiles, and songbirds.

6. Plant fruit bearing shrubs and trees. These can provide food for songbirds and other wildlife throughout the year. From eastern red-cedar and American holly to winged sumac and northern bayberry.

A Swallowtail butterfly nectars on a zinnia flower. © Ben Wurst

7. Reduce the size of your lawn by planting a wildflower garden. They require less water than cool season grasses and provide nectar to butterflies, bees and hummingbirds and also provide seeds to many songbirds. You will save money and time by reducing the amount of grass on your property.

8. Install bird and bat houses. Bird houses can provide a place for cavity nesting birds to nest, like chickadees, wrens, and bluebirds. Monitor the birdhouse throughout the spring and summer to be sure no exotic species are utilizing it, like European starlings. Maternity bat houses can provide female bats with a place to raise their young. Bats feed on thousands of insects each night. They help control insect populations and in some areas help pollinate fruit and vegetable crops.

9. Wildlife need water to survive. Put out a bird bath or even better, install a pond. A simple bird bath can be a medium-sized saucer or shallow bowl. Change the water frequently to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. Ponds are even better for wildlife, especially amphibians, like frogs, toads, and salamanders. A simple pond can be made out of an old bath tub. Place rocks along the edge, plant some flowers along the edges, and put some branches and rocks in the water to enhance the habitat in the pond.

10. Certify your yard with the National Wildlife Federation and get a yard sign to let others know you provide habitat for wildlife in your backyard!