Safe Wildlife Viewing Tips: Enjoying Wildlife In The Garden

A Skunk In The Garden
(Image credit: Karel Bock)

For many city dwellers, outdoor green spaces are vital to our emotional and physical well-being. Whether visiting a local park or sitting in our own backyards, there is no doubt that being surrounded with nature can help us to relax and destress.

For this reason, many are eager to learn more about the native wildlife which lives all around us, including insects, birds, smaller animals, and even the occasional predator. In doing so, however, it is our responsibility to practice safe wildlife viewing.

Enjoying Wildlife in the Garden

Enjoying wildlife in the garden, or any green space, will vary depending upon where you live. While the city offers an abundance of smaller creatures, those living in more rural areas will frequently see a greater variety of wildlife.

This is important to consider, as animals like snakes, bears, coyotes, cougars, and more can prove to be a significant threat to safety. Regardless of location, learning to safely enjoy animals in your garden will be key for a positive experience.

For many homeowners, attracting backyard wildlife is an important aspect of garden design. Various types of insects, birds, and animals will enjoy differing habitats. Features such as food, water, and potential shelter will all influence what animals decide to visit or take residence within your yard.

That said, these same structures may also serve as a lure to less desirable and potentially dangerous animals. For a safer wildlife viewing experience, we’ll need to consider several commonsense points.

How to Watch Wildlife Safely

To fully begin enjoying wildlife in the garden, many suggest observing from an optimal distance. Not only does this keep the observer safe, but it also does not disturb the animal. Never approach any animal. A quality pair of binoculars can enhance your experience and offer an up-close view without concern. This technique is especially helpful for those with large yards or those who own vast acreage.

Those with smaller urban backyards may encounter a multitude of birds, squirrels, and even skunks or raccoons. Safe wildlife viewing is still quite important in these cases. Some animals can carry diseases, such as rabies, or become aggressive when they feel threatened.

Nature lovers can better get a close-up view by arranging bird feeders near their home’s windows. This allows for those inside to easily and safely look out while still enjoying the flutter of birds as they feed.

The methods listed above are great for watching wildlife during the day, but what about nighttime creatures that inhabit our yard. Over the years, the price of a quality field camera has become quite affordable. Adults and children alike will love the thrill of sitting and checking outdoor cameras to see exactly what animals may be visiting their yards.

Tonya Barnett

Tonya Barnett has been gardening for 13 years. Flowers are her passion. She has trasformed her backyard into a cut flower garden, which she regularly chronicles on her YouTube channel