Becoming a Certified Wildlife Habitat Home

Wildlife Refuge

Backyard Wildlife Refugee Certification
I wanted to share a neat little tidbit for people who take pride in the fact that their yards are a wildlife refuge. The National Wildlife Foundation can certify your home, school or community garden if it has the folllowing characteristics:

  • Food for wildlife
  • Clean water
  • Protection from predators and weather
  • Places to raise young

The area should also conserve water, have control over the nonnative species, and not use pesticides or chemical fertilizers.  If this sounds like something you strive for, you can find more information at

This would be a great idea for schools and their science programs too!

Here Comes The Orioles

Since the warmer weather has been hanging around, I started taking down the bird feeders and washing them out.  I had the kids helping refill the ground feeders, tube feeders and suet blocks.  The girls get a kick out of which birds they attract to the yard.  The have hung up some homemade pine cone feeders along the back of the yard which feed the squirrels, lol.

cardinal photo


 We have our binoculars and bird book out and handy so we can mark down which ones come in the yard.  So far, we have seen Blue Jays, Robins, Goldfinches, Cardinals and Bluebirds.  Quite a spectacle of color.  The kids start screaming every time they see another one!  I’m glad the birds are used to girls screaming otherwise we would never see any birds.

So today I had the doors opened to let in some fresh air, I heard a lot of singing in the front yard.  I walked over to the window and seen a bright orange bird hanging sideways on my Hakuro Nishiki Willow.  He was swinging and singing away.  I ran to the garage to get the Oriole feeder, which contains a small bowl for jelly.  I filled it up with jelly and got it outside fast.  Hopefully, he will notice the bright orange on the feeder and come back.  After numerous years of trial and error, I have come to the conclusion that the Orioles enjoy the cheapest grape jelly I can find.  It must be a higher sugar concentration?

oriole photo


Anyway, this picture is the little guy sitting in my serviceberry.  We still have many more to entice to our yard, but one bird at time gives us something to look forward to.  They are only in our area during the warmer months and then they move on, so when we see them we know Spring has arrived!

For The Birds: Peanut Butter PineCone

PB pinecone 2

Homemade PB Pine Cone Bird Feeder

Make a simple bird feeder in under 30 minutes and watch the birds go crazy! Help keep the birds going because this time of year, most of the seeds and berries are gone.

  • Pinecones
  • Peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • string or yarn
  • Bird seed of your choice

Mix the peanut butter and honey together.  Spread onto the pinecones leaving room at the top.  Roll in the seeds on paper plate. Tie on a piece of string at the top.  Hang from a tree.