While we all hunker down for the winter, it can be fun to watch some of the wildlife as they, too, try to stay warm and make it through the storms and temperature changes. If you have wildlife that like to visit your yard, there are some actions that you may want to take to both enjoy watching the critters and keep your lawn and garden safe. Continue reading to find out more about winter wildlife and what they may mean for your yard.
Some common animals that may find your yard appealing during the winter months include deer, coyotes, birds, and animals who may have awoken prematurely from their slumber due to an increase in temperature. These could include skunks, raccoons, gophers, and moles.
As you watch from the window, you may consider helping these creatures by putting out food so they have some sustenance. However, one of the main warnings from the Mass Gov website about feeding these animals is that it does way more harm than good. Environmental and wildlife experts say, “While people have good intentions, supplemental feeding of wildlife typically does more harm than good.”
Here are a few of the reasons why this is not a good practice:
- Feeding wildlife tends to congregate them in one area making the spread of disease more rampant and allows for predators to more easily find their prey.
- Feeding wildlife can attract them to a certain yard or area where grass and plantings can be trampled and eaten as well.
- Competition over food being put out can cause aggression between wildlife.
- Wildlife may need to travel distances to get to your yard, wasting energy and potentially crossing roads that will put them in further danger.
If you find that you have any of these wildlife in your area, watch and enjoy but allow them to do their instinctual thing and survive the way they know how. If the wildlife is destroying your yard, you may want to install barriers to protect your bushes and plantings.