Water for Wildlife
Your WaterSaver garden saves so much water you have plenty left over for wildlife.
Wildlife needs water for drinking and bathing, just like you. Many animals live in the water for all or part of their lives. A gorgeous garden can benefit wildlife and be fun for you as songbirds splash in a birdbath and colorful butterflies gather at a puddle. You’re saving so much water with your native and adapted plants, you can give some to the local critters.
Bird baths are an easy way to provide reliable water to birds, insects and other wildlife. Choose one with sloping sides that is no deeper than two to three inches. Find a place to put it where you can see it and it’s easy to clean. Change water daily, especially in the summertime.
- Put the bath where birds can easily fly up into a nearby tree if a cat or other predator approaches.
- Add large, rough stones so smaller birds can use it.
- Keep a fresh water source all year round. Freezing is rarely an issue here in San Antonio, but there are heated bird baths available.
Deer, squirrels, raccoons, bees and other wildlife may also take advantage of your water source. You can place a birdbath without a pedestal on the ground for non-climbers, like rabbits.
Puddles and Pebbles
Tiny water sources can make a big difference for wildlife.
- Saucers. Fill a saucer with small, rough pebbles and add water without completely covering the stones. Butterflies, bees and other insects will thank you!
- Puddles. Butterflies get salts and other nutrients by “puddling,” or visiting mud puddles. Find a sunny spot in your yard to keep damp or fill a shallow terracotta plant saucer or pie tin with sand and water to mimic a puddle edge.
Add a small pond or water feature with plants to draw dragonflies, frogs and other wildlife. If you’re not ready to dig out a pond, consider a container water garden.
Water is an essential part of your backyard habitat and a little water goes a long way in South Texas!