© Bruce McNitt/Panoramic Images (Virginia)

Virginia DGIF Technical Assistance

Wildlife viewing is more than just going and seeing or putting up birdfeeders, though these are good places to start.  It also involves providing structures for wildlife viewing or looking at the broader landscape.  In addition, it also means providing habitat that animals need so that they are actually present in an area.  Food, water, shelter and space are all necessary for wildlife to live.  You can provide food through feeders, water through ponds and birdbaths, shelter through brush piles or birdhouses, and arrange them all so they are in close proximity to each other.

But creating wildlife habitat goes well beyond your backyard. Sometimes it involves building viewing and photography blinds or larger structures to provide better viewing opportunities. It may also involve developing interpretive signage to educate visitors about what they can see and what they are seeing. Even larger, it may mean working with local planning officials to develop low impact developments which decrease stormwater run-off and using native plants in landscaping to decrease water consumption. Both of these also provide habitat for wildlife which increases areas available for wildlife viewing.

For more information on viewing wildlife in your backyard, visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. There you'll find valuable information on attracting wildlife to your Backyard (click on Backyard Wildlife) and creating backyard habitat at the link to Habitat at Home. If you are interested in larger endeavors or in working with your community to develop wildlife viewing areas, check out the Technical Assistance links.

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