WindStar Wildlife Institute
Observing and
One of the greatest pleasures of landscaping for
wildlife is the opportunity to observe the creatures
that visit your yard.
Some people enjoy the thrill of simply watching animal
behavior "up close," while others want to take pictures
to preserve the memories and share them with others.
As you plan your landscaping,
keep wildlife observation in mind.
Plant shrubs and trees in line
with windows from which you
can watch comfortably.
For photography, try to make
it a window that can be easily
opened, one without a screen.
Sliding doors can be opened
slightly while you are hidden
behind a folding screen or
If you must take your photos
through a closed window,
carefully put your lens right
against the glass to eliminate
glare and reflection. A tripod
will help to keep the camera
steady as you wait for the
perfect shot.
Your first step in observing
wildlife should be to pay
attention to their habits. Take
notes on when (both time of day
and season) and where you see
wildlife in your yard.
Most animals follow patterns
of behavior and this can work to
your advantage. If you see a
rabbit eating in a corner of your
lawn in the morning, chances are
that he will be there every
morning. You can plan to be in
the right place even earlier and
wait for him.
Birds frequently use the same
perch repeatedly, so you can
pre-focus a camera on that
spot and wait for your subject
to appear, rather than following
it around the yard, trying to
maintain focus.
This same technique works
with many insects, such as
dragonflies, which are territorial.
Species that migrate often
appear at the same time each
year and will return to your yard
if you have provided for their
needs in the past. Study
guidebooks to learn more about
the habits and preferences of
individual species.


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