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We just moved into this house, and the yard is primarily grass, with a few non-native shrubs and 2 large blue spruce. We are essentially starting with a clean slate, and the information presented in this section will be very helpful for planning a bird and pollinator garden. One question about keeping birds safe - our neighborhood is ruled by crows. Any suggestions for plants that provide nesting habitat that would be protective from crows? Either through camouflage, dense or thorny foliage, or...? Zone 4.
@theresa Regarding cats - I have used a live trap and a thorough dousing with a garden hose before loosing the cat. When it is warm outside, of course. So far, a zero return rate and no harm to the cat. Also, at least where we live, the local animal control folks will also set a live trap in your yard and take the cat into custody where the owners will have to bail them out of jail. Another approach might be to encourage the cat owners to keep the cat(s) inside during the dawn and dusk hours and at night. This may at least cut down on predation.
I live in Laramie, Wyoming - elevation 7220, zone 4 if we're lucky. We just moved into town from a prairie setting that had wonderful native birds (mountain bluebirds, goldfinches, 3 hummingbird species, tree swallows..). We are starting from scratch with a front and back yard that are mostly grass, and that we are excited to convert to pollinator and bird habitat. Audubon Rockies has a habitat hero program, which has good information for this area. Our bird feeders and bird baths are attractants for a lot of invasive bird species (Eurasian collard doves, English (aka house) sparrows, starlings), so we have realized we need to focus on habitat and food sources for the native bird species. We have mountain chickadees, red-breasted and white-breasted nuthatches, flickers, and downy woodpeckers regularly visiting. Any/all suggestions and ideas are welcome!