Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida
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Finding Nature Near You

By: Kyle Grammatica

As we do our part to flatten the COVID-19 curve, you may miss enjoying the outdoors. Luckily, there are ways to experience Florida’s wildlife around your home!

Creating a Backyard Refuge

If you have a backyard, there are many opportunities to observe native species like birds, small mammals, lizards, and snakes. You may see some of these species already, but there are steps you can take to welcome more!

Planting native species in your yard forms the foundation of your wildlife refuge. These plants have adapted over time to the local climate, growing seasons, and soil conditions. Native animals have adapted alongside and rely on them for food and shelter. Insects associated with the native plants will attract other species who prey on them, like birds and reptiles.

Additionally, setting up a bird feeder can attract many beautiful species like the northern cardinal, red wing blackbird, and blue jay. You may also get to see some of Florida’s migratory bird species like the cerulean warbler. By supplying animals with food, water, and shelter you can entice a great variety of species to visit your property, improving your chances of observing them, while providing the habitat they need to survive.

If you don’t have a backyard, you can look for nature in your neighborhood or at a local park. If you’re planning to visit a local park or preserve check with your county’s parks department to ensure that they are open. While there, be sure to follow recommendations to combat COVID-19, like keeping distance between people and washing or sanitizing your hands frequently.

While COVID-19 may be making it difficult to enjoy Florida’s natural beauty, we hope that you still find an opportunity to appreciate the nature near you!

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