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A Guide to Making Backyard Habitat for Birds

Making It Grow Minute

  Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. If you Google "Clemson, hgic 1700," you’ll find a guide to making your backyard a sanctuary for wildlife. Professor Drew Lanham says you don’t need a huge yard – creating a multi-layered landscape with large, mid-sized, and small trees and shrubs – especially natives that provide food as well as shelter can be accomplished in almost any space. One non-plant feature you need to include is a source of water, often the limiting factor for all sorts of animals, not just songbirds. Although a basin will satisfy birds, , with a little extra effort you can make a wetland that will bring frogs and toads and those fascinating dragon flies, as well. You’ll want to add some mosquito fish from a nearby creek or goldfish from the pet store to gobble up the mosquitoes – as they’re always going to be part of any South Carolina backyard.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.