Plant a garden with native plants
Provide a succession of blooming plants throughout the growing season, spring through fall, which provide resources for animals throughout the seasons. Emphasize native perennials; they’ll come back every year! And plant “host plants” to provide food for caterpillars and nectar for adult butterflies.
Make your property bird-friendly
Black-oil sunflower seed, white proso millet and thistle seed are the best bird food choices. Keep in mind that plants, shrubs and trees also can provide food for your backyard visitors.
Bird baths or water dishes should be placed near low shrubs or bushes to provide quick access to cover from predators.
Place bird houses in trees, shrubs and blooming flowers, which already provide a sense of safety for birds. Avoid placing them by windows, which birds may accidentally fly into. In Missouri, oaks, hickories, tulip poplars, white pine, maples and cedars are good choices.
Thousands of migratory songbirds, which are attracted by lights, are killed each year by colliding with lighted buildings at night. Consider making suncatchers for your windows, which will help prevent accidental bird strikes.
Keep your property litter-free
Litter, especially plastic, can find its way to animals. Animals can swallow or be entangled in litter, causing injury or death.
Avoid using herbicides and choose non-chemical solutions to insect problems
For example, if you have grubs in your garden, try planting geraniums, which repel grubs.