The ideal method of enticing wildlife to stay is by catering to their tastes. So turn your property (or at least part of it) into something similar to the mix of flora (flowers, herbs, weeds, grasses, shrubs, and vines) that occurs in their natural habitats.

 Some basic rules of thumb for copying nature are:

 Here are just a few of the animals that you might play host to in your backyard.



Natural Food

Preferred Habitat

American Toad


Loose soil, cool daytime temperatures

Western Painted Turtle

Crayfish, insects, mollusks

Deep pools w/muddy bottoms, sunning spots




Big Brown Bat

Insects (beetles)

Buildings & trees near meadows and residential areas

Little Brown Bat

Aquatic Insects

Caves & buildings near rivers, lakes, marshes





Insects (moths)

Farmlands, suburbs, other residential areas

Mason Bee

Flower nectar

Gardens, orchards, fields




Deer Mouse

Seeds, nuts, fruit, insects

Woodland edges, brush piles

White Footed Mouse

Seed, nuts, vegetation

Woodland edges, logs, brush piles




Cottontail Rabbits

Grasses, dandelion

Woodland edges, brush piles




Fox Squirrel

Pine cones, seeds, mast*

Deciduous woodland

Gray Squirre

Mast* , seeds, berries

Woodlands, parks, suburban yards

Red Squirrel

Mast* , seeds, insects

Conifer woodlands (spruce, pine, hemlock)




American Kestrel

Insects, sm.mammals, birds

Open areas, forest edges to city

Barred Owl

Sm. mammals, reptiles, etc

Conifer & deciduous forest, wood swamps

Boreal Owl

Birds, sm. Mammals

Conifer & deciduous forest, bogs

Eastern Screech Owl

Fish, insects, sm. Mammals

Near water

Saw-Whet Owl

Sm. mammals, insects

Forests, thickets, groves

Western Screech Owl

Sm. mammals, birds, etc.

Woods, scrub, orchard




American Robin

Fruits, earthworms, insects

Woods, residential areas, swamps

Barn Swallow


Farmland, residential areas

Black-capped Chickadee

Insects, fruits, seeds

Wood edges, gardens

Carolina Wren

Insects, seeds

Gardens, thickets

Downy Woodpecker


Mixed woods, suburbs & towns

Eastern Bluebird

Insects, fruits

Farms, wood edges, orchards

Eastern Phoebe

Flying insects

Open woods, farms, roadsides

Great Crested Flycatcher

Insects, berries, sm. Fruit

Woodlands, groves

Hairy Woodpecker

Adult & larval beetles, ants

Open woods with mature trees & snags

House Wren

Insects, seeds

Gardens, farms, woods, thickets

Mourning Dove

Seeds, grains

Open woods, residential areas

Northern Flicker

Ants, insects, wild fruits

Woods, shrubs

Purple Martin

Flying insects

Farms and areas near water

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Insects, seeds

Conifer forests

Red-Head Woodpecker

Insects, acorns, wild fruits

Grove, farms, towns

Tree Swallow

Flying insects, berries, seeds

Near water

Tufted Titmouse

Insects, seeds, fruits, mast*

Deciduous woods, swamps

Western Bluebird

Insects, weeds, fruits, seeds

Deserts, farms, open woods

White-Breasted Nuthatch

Insects, seeds, mast*

Mixed forests to suburbs




Canada Goose

Insects, marsh/aquatic plants, grains

Ponds, rivers, bays, fields


Seeds, leaves

Edges of lakes, ponds, & sometimes fields

Wood Duck

Acorns, insects

Wooded swamps, marshes, near water

Rubythroat Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

All Hummingbirds are nectar feeders although they also enjoy an occasional insect snack. Here are some flowers that are favorites:  Salvia, Bee Balm, Flowering Tobacco, Latana, Honeysuckle, Aloe, Fuchsias, Columbine.

The commercial feeders scattered in several locations will also help encourage these unique birds to make repeat visits.



Mast* includes acorns, beechnuts, and other nuts accumulated on the ground underneath trees.