We all need a safe, comfortable place to call home, and wildlife is no exception. Animals and birds need cover to protect against inclement weather and predators, and that can be difficult to find in your neighborhood without a little help from humans. Here are some ideas for creating wildlife homes in your backyards and gardens:



The birds that hang around instead of migrating south for the winter must hunt for a good spot to stay warm. A roosting box is specially designed to provided needed shelter for birds during the long, cold winter nights.  Set one of these up, and make a bunch of birdies very happy.



Bats do more good for our world than most people realize; eating insects, pollinating cactus and agave plants, and providing farmers nutrient-rich fertilizer via bat guano. Yet, bats are vulnerable to extinction as they are slow reproducing mammals and are threatened by climate change, deforestation, hunting, wind turbines and fungal infection.

By installing a bat house in your backyard, you’ll provide grateful bats a place to roost and a female bat a safe, warm place to raise a young, healthy pup.



Toads like to hang out in leaves and undergrowth and chow down on insects, but they also need a place to escape from sun and predators. Toad houses make the perfect little hide-away as well as add a little character to your outdoor space.




Where there are birds, there will be squirrels eating from bird feeders and taking over bird houses. Giving squirrels a special place to call home will give them cover from weather and predators, and just maybe keep them away from bird sanctuaries.





Nancy's Bird Butter makes for a perfect backyard bird winter treat.

Redwing Blackbird helping himself and another waiting in line with housefinch looking on and Pine siskin zooming in on Mealworm feeder next door. Photo is courtesy of @nk03262 and Zeester Medial LLC, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

In winter, food for wild things often becomes scarce.  You can help backyard birds with full, easy to find feeders, and by offering foods high in fat and calories that provide the energy required to keep birds warm.

Nancy (@nk03262) shared her Nancy’s Bird Butter recipe in a 1/12018 post.  It’s perfect winter bird food— “good for the birds and your soul”.

•  Melt 16 oz lard and 2 cups crunchy peanut butter in the microwave in microwave safe bowl (mine takes 3 to 4 minutes on High to melt). It’s hot – Be carefull removing bowl.

•  While the melt is happening — Mix 4 cups quick oats, 4 cups cornmeal, 2 cups flour, and 2/3rds cup sugar. Stir this mixture into the melted lard and peanut butter.

•  Spread into a disposable 9 X 13 aluminum pan, and place in freezer. When solid, remove and let soften a bit, and then cut into 6 squares. Store squares in zip locs in freezer.

•  Place one in a square suet feeder in your yard, and watch our feathered friends come with open beaks and gratitude, especially in winter.

•  To keep squirrels out of the bird feeders, you need the right equipment, e.g. pole mount, wrap-around baffle and hanging baffle.


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Feature squirrel photo is courtesy of Pixabay/Pexels CC0

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Posted by Zola Zeester

Zola is a vagabond playmaker, the On2In2™ recreation guru and primary source of inspiration for this article. Currently resides at Zeester Media HQ.


  1. We call it the cafeteria. As good as Luby’s if you are a bird that eats at feeders.

    1. Obviously, a great place to chow down as you have a lot of customers

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