1. Grow plants that provide wildlife with a natural food source such as nuts, berries or nectar, or offer supplemental feeders



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1. Grow plants that provide wildlife with a natural food source such as nuts, berries or nectar, or offer supplemental feeders.

  • 1. Grow plants that provide wildlife with a natural food source such as nuts, berries or nectar, or offer supplemental feeders.

  • 2. Provide water for wildlife with a birdbath, small pond, or shallow dish.

  • 3. Offer protective cover for wildlife by providing a ground cover, a hollow log or rock piles, dense shrubs or a roosting box.

  • 4. Provide places for wildlife to raise young such as a water garden, a pond or a nesting box.

  • 5. Practice sustainable gardening by mulching, composting or by reducing your lawn area.



The questions you will be asked on the National Wildlife Federation Wildlife Habitat Certification Application form have check-off spaces, and are generally as follows:

  • The questions you will be asked on the National Wildlife Federation Wildlife Habitat Certification Application form have check-off spaces, and are generally as follows:

  • 1. Your name, e-mail address (if applicable) phone number, address and general description of the habitat property

  • Type of wildlife habitat supports (insect, bird, mammal, etc.)

  • What kind of food you supply (seeds and berries, meadow grasses or leaves, and/or types of feeders, etc.) (3 are required)

  • How you supply water (birdbath, pond, stream, etc.) (1 is required)

  • What places do you have for cover (brush pile, dense shrubs, roosting box, etc.) (2 are required)

  • How do you supply places to raise young (trees, meadows, nesting boxes, etc.) (2 are required)

  • Sustainable gardening practices you maintain (reduction in lawn area and erosion, mulching, elimination of pesticide use, a rain garden, etc.) (2 are required)



Native plants often have fewer pest and disease problems than lawns and exotic (non-native) plants. Because natives are also adapted to local temperature and rainfall patterns, they require less watering and fertilizing to maintain sound health. Native plants provide better nutritional requirements for native animals, and are the basis for delicately balanced food webs.

  • Native plants often have fewer pest and disease problems than lawns and exotic (non-native) plants. Because natives are also adapted to local temperature and rainfall patterns, they require less watering and fertilizing to maintain sound health. Native plants provide better nutritional requirements for native animals, and are the basis for delicately balanced food webs.

  • Selecting native plants for landscaping is ecologically responsible. In Florida, about 900 exotic plants have been added to the choices of plants used to beautify areas. Of these, about 400 plants have already invaded natural areas where they aggressively compete with Florida natives.

  • Several of the most aggressive plants have drastically changed the Florida landscape both ecologically and visually.

  • In North Florida, the most aggressive non-native is the kudzu vine, Pueraria labata. Kudzu vine can turn a small pine forest into a green nightmare in just a few years. There is nothing left there for native wildlife. The vine has created a “desert” for them.

  • Melaleuca quinquenervia was purposely introduced into South Florida as a landscape tree early in the 20th century to stop soil erosion. Unfortunately, it also destroys habitat and wildlife.





Do keep your feeders clean, dump all old seed and hulls before refilling them. Disinfect with

  • Do keep your feeders clean, dump all old seed and hulls before refilling them. Disinfect with

  • ¼ cup of bleach to two gallons of warm water every few weeks. Rinse and allow to air dry

  • before refilling.

  • Do move your feeding station when the ground beneath it becomes covered with seed hulls

  • and droppings. Rake the old site to remove hulls and to give the grass a chance to recover.

  • Don’t use grease, oils or petroleum jelly, or similar substances to thwart ants, squirrels,

  • or other feeder-raiding creatures. If these substances come in contact with bird feathers

  • they are impossible for the bird to preen or wash out. Gooey feathers can become

  • useless for flight or insulation. Baffles and ant guards are available in many stores.

  • Don’t put out any more seed than can be eaten by nightfall. Don’t allow seed to become

  • and stay wet. In rainy weather, feed only from covered feeders that will keep seed dry,

  • or put out only a handful of seed at a time on platforms.

  • Do, if you see a sick or dead bird at your feeder, halt your feeding for a few weeks to allow

  • the healthy birds to disperse. This lessens the possibility of disease transmission.

  • Don’t provide suet in the summer. It can become rancid and unhealthy for birds and

  • cause the same problems for their feathers as grease, oils and petroleum jelly.





Resident butterfly populations in your yard require both larval and nectar (adult) foods.

  • Resident butterfly populations in your yard require both larval and nectar (adult) foods.

  • Different kinds of butterflies require different plantings of shrubs on which to lay eggs, which will develop into caterpillars and feed on the leaves of their host shrub. Therefore, plant those shrubs in a less visible area, as the caterpillars will eat the leaves and cause the shrubs to look less attractive. Nectar flowers for adult food can be placed where they can be easily seen and enjoyed.

  • Do not use pesticides or herbicides in or near the butterfly garden.

  • Flower colors that attract butterflies include orange, yellow, pink, purple and red. Deep-throated, drooping, or enclosed flowers are unsuitable for nectar-gathering. Wildflowers are great for attracting butterflies, though many hybridized flowers fail to attract. White flowers, and those emitting their fragrances at night, usually attract moths.



Butterfly Plant needed for larvae and caterpillar

  • Butterfly Plant needed for larvae and caterpillar

  • Atala… coontie (Zamia floridana)

  • Buckeye plantain (plantago spp.), snapdragon (Antirrhinum spp), Ludwigia spp, sedums

  • Pearly Crescent asters (esp. native spp.), crownbeard (Verbesina occidentalis)

  • Dogface clover (Trifolium spp.), leadplant (Amorta fruticosa)

  • Gulf Frittilary passion vine (Passiflora incarnata)

  • Florida leafwing croton (Croton llinearus)

  • Goatweed butterfly croton (C. capitatum and C. monanthogynus))

  • Julia passion vines (Passiflora spp.)

  • Monarch milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) Note: check with your county Extension Office for species

  • Mourning Cloak elms (Ulmus spp.), willow (Salix spp.), hackberry (Celtis spp.)

  • Painted Lady thistles (Circium spp.), many composits (Asteracea), mallows (Malvaciae)

  • Queen milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) Note: check with your county Extension Office for species

  • Red Admiral nettles (Urtica spp.), false nettle (Boehmaria cylindrica)

  • Red-spotted Purple willows (Salix spp.), scrub oaks (Quercus spp.)

  • Long-tailed skipper legumes (Fabaceae), crucifers (Brassicaceae)

  • Orange-barred sulphur cassias (Cassia spp.)

  • Common sulphur legumes (Fabaceae)

  • Black swallowtail carrots, parsley, dill, Queen Anne’s Lace (Umbelliferae)

  • Pipevine swallowtail pipevines Aristolochia spp.), knotweeds (Polyganum spp.)

  • Palamedes swallowtail red bay (Persea borbonia), sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana), sassafras (Sassafras albidum)

  • Schaus’ swallowtail torchwood (Amyris elimfera)), wild lime (Zanthoxylum fagara)

  • Spicebush swallowtail spicebush (Lindera benzoin), red bay (Persea borbonia), sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana)

  • Tiger swallowtail many broadleaf trees and shrubs, .willows (Salix spp.), tulip poplars (Liriodendrun tulipifera

  • Zebra swallowtail pawpaws (Asimina spp.)

  • Zebra Longwing passionvine (Passiflora spp.)

  • ( Information adapted from Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission publication)











  • All photos in this presentation are from NWF certified habitats in Florida

  • All line drawings in this presentation are used with permission, or are in the public domain

  • Any pages or information from this presentation may be shown or copied, as long as Florida Wildlife Federation is credited.




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