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National Wildlife Federation: Attracting Birds, Butterflies & other Backyard Wildlife Paperback – January 1, 2004

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this handsome book, Mizejewski, manager of the National Wildlife Federation's Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program, offers a short guide to creating gardens and yards that promote ecological balance and provide natural habitats for a wide variety of wildlifeâ€"birds, butterflies, toads, snakes, bats, bees and necessary predators such as spiders, beetles, owls and hawks. In uncomplicated text accompanied by stunning photographs, he suggests native plants that can be used to attract birds and butterflies and gives simple instructions for family projectsâ€"creating attractive bird feeders and stocking them with food; building nesting boxes for birds, butterflies and bats, and houses for frogs, toads and salamanders; making and maintaining birdbaths, drinking areas, ponds and wetland habitats. The most valuable parts of the book are those in which Mizejewski emphasizes the importance of using native plants to maintain the mutual relationships that plants, animals and other living organisms have developed over the millennia and explains how exotic imports can disrupt this balance. His lists of desirable native plants and undesirable exotics are far from comprehensive, but he directs the reader to Web sites where further information is available. The text is brief, but with its 170 color photos, it provides a good starting point for homeowners who want to create attractive natural habitats. The book concludes with instructions for registering wildlife-friendly gardens with the National Wildlife Federation as official Backyard Wildlife Habitat sites.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"With beautiful photographs, this book is extremely useful and accessible. It's a must for anyone interested in increasing the diversity of life in outdoor spaces."-Holly Shimizu, Executive Director of the U.S. Botanical Garden.

Winner of the Publishers Marketing Association's Ben Franklin Award.

"To create your own backyarde habitat, you will need no other guide than this book. It is full of practical ideas, clever projects and delighful photographs."-Valerie Kelsey, President of the National Gardening Association.
“…is an excellent book for beginners...”

                                                           Daily Record(York, PA)
                                                                          Mar 23, 2007

 "extensive information on attracting birds, butterflies and sundry creatures to your little piece of paradise.” “The purpose of this book is to teach the reader how to restore or create a wildlife habitat in his/her own yard…”  “The projects described are fundamental and elementary, suited for family participation.”  “This is a very helpful book for someone who wishes to enhance his/her landscape as a means of attracting wildlife.”

                        Epinions.com (Brisbane, CA)

Mar 21, 2007

"...an excellent book....offering plenty of basic advice about providing the four basic needs of wildlife...lots of helpful advice..."

Washington Post
January 7, 2006

 “It is full of practical how-to information to make your yard a wildlife haven…”

                        Daily Progress (Jacksonville, TX

June 05, 2007

“...hundreds of ideas for landscaping that works for people and wildlife, as well as many easy projects to do with children.”
Daily Journal
June 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Creative Homeowner; 1st edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580111505
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580111508
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.3 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #644,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation and holds a degree in Human and Natural Ecology from Emory University. He hosts Animal Planet's Backyard Habitat series, which shows people how to make the planet a better place for wildlife one backyard at a time. He has made a number of radio and television appearances, including on NBC's Weekend Today Show, HGTV's Gardening by the Yard, and The Martha Stewart Show. David has been fascinated by wild creatures for as along as he can remember. He lives in Virginia with his two dogs and all sorts of birds, butterflies, and other backyard wildlife.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By D Darkman on September 21, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book outlines several topics, one or two pages per topic, such as birdbaths, artificial ponds, etc., various topics that are all relevant, interesting, and just what you want... but it doesn't treat any one topic thoroughly or well enough. Well before I bought this book, I already knew a bit about how to provide habitats to encourage bees (for example). This book only gave a very rough overview of how to create one type of bee environment (how to make tubes to attract mason bees) but didn't even indicate that there are other types of bees (such as bumble bees... honey bees... various other bee species, each of which need their own particular type of home built for them), let alone give guidelines how to attract them. The most important thing, choosing plants that are bird-friendly or bee-friendly or animal-friends, it handles in a very superficial manner. True, it may list a few species of plants, but it hardly gives a comprehensive list. It doesn't say anything about the plants, such as zones, light/shade preference, etc. In summary, if there's anything you want to do, such as choose plants carefully, you'll need to buy another book. Beehouses? Buy another book or scour the internet. Yes, this book will motivate you, will make you feel, how nice it will be to build a butterfly-friendly garden. But it doesn't really give you what you need to do it, besides make you feel good about it. Do you want to build a birdhouse? Scoure the internet or buy another book. The only thing this book is good for, is to tell you the few topics you should start to think about. And that, you can get just by reading the Table of Contents.Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
Illustrated throughout with enticing color photographs, Attracting Birds, Butterflies, And Other Backyard Wildlife by David Mizejewski (Manager, Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program) is an exceptional and highly recommended homeowner's guide featuring 17 great projects along with a wealth of tips, tricks, and techniques to create gardens filled with wildlife sights, sounds, and natural wonders. Featuring advice for obtaining certification for a backyard habitat in the NWF's Backard Wildlife Habitat program, as well as more general suggestions from building amphibian and bee nesting houses, to finding native plants, avoiding West Nile Virus in the water provided for wildlife, butterfly feeders, and so much more, Attracting Birds, Butterflies, And Other Backyard Wildlife is a first-rate informational guide and a welcome addition to personal and community library Wildlife and Gardening reference collections.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on April 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
So you want to turn your big back yard into a wildlife refuge? The place to begin is with the NWF `ATTRACTING BIRDS, BUTTERFLIES AND OTHER BACKYARD WILDLIFE.' This book, part of the `Creative Homeowner Series includes all kinds of nifty ideas for making your yard creature-friendly. You will become interested in ridding yourself of noxious grass the upkeep of which is frustrating, a lot of work, and expensive, and probably a source of pollution in your watershed. The book explains the reason why you also want to rid yourself of invasive exotic plants and add native plantings to your yard. Many `exotics carry disease and many fail to nourish the local fauna that grew up with the native stuff. Birds, for example, find the berries from the native Dogwood much more nutritious than the fruit of the Kousa Dogwood. You want to strive for balance in your yard if you want more bird sightings. If you live far enough out in the hinterland, you may also find other creatures visit your yard (though I live in Arlington VA and my neighbor reports a raccoon is having a fish dinner every night from her pond, and I know I have smelled a skunk on many mornings).

The beautiful photos in this publication will inspire you to plan and plant as well as spread peanut butter on your homemade `energy muffins' filled with cornmeal, peanuts and suet or vegetable shortening. You can decorate a Yule tree for the birds the kids might enjoy and/or build a pond with decorative plants. Or if you don't have room for a pond, try making a puddle or a muddy area (the kids will love this) or a container garden for small spaces. You will need to provide cover, which can also be beautiful (we have Cardinals nesting in a Pyracantha bush out front -- my Conure loves to watch them from his window vantage point).
Read more ›
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kay Charter on February 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
This attractive book, filled with beautiful photographs and easy to follow hints on how to share backyards with wild creatures, is the best yet published. The book begins by explaining the importance of native plants in a given ecosystem, and it includes the enormous problems that can result when exotics (non-natives) are introduced. The information is then whittled down to backyard size. The section "Providing Water for Wildlife" includes instructions and photographs on how to create an elaborate or simple water feature, and it shows how to fashion a wetland from a gutter downspout. For those concerned about West Nile Virus, there is a fact sheet at the end of the section on how to reduce the potential for exposure.
Every aspect of backyard gardening for wildlife is covered. Whether you have a rooftop garden in the city, an urban condo with a small patio or a large rural yard, this book can help you develop a landscape that will attract more birds, butterflies and other wild creatures into that space. Your life will be enriched both by the process, and by the result.
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