Maryland's Wild Acres

Useful Backyard Wildlife Habitat Resources

Backyard Habitat ResourcesNational Wildlife Federation logo

  • Maryland Cooperative Extension
    • Offers home and garden information, tips publications, plant problems, Bay issues, and other links

  • National Wildlife Federation
    • Details on their backyard habitat program

  • Project FeederWatch
    • Winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. Feeder Watchers (like you!) periodically count the highest numbers of each species they see at their feeders from November through early April.

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Education Resources

Invasive Species
Invasive Species Resources


Plant Resources

  • Colston, C. 2011. Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (BBG Guides for a Greener Planet).
    • Brooklyn Botanic Garden Guide which goes into commonly planted invasives and native alternatives

  • Maryland Native Plant Society
    • Offers information dedicated to protecting, conserving and restoring Maryland's native plants and habitats

  • Maryland Native Nurseries List (PDF)

  • Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat in Maryland
    • Provides lists and information about native plants that can be used for habitat restoration and natural landscaping projects

  • Tallamy. Douglas. 2009. Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Updated and Expanded. Timber Press.
    • This books highlights native plants that are beneficial for wildlife, particularly those which support beneficial insects that form the bottom of the food chain.

  • Wasowski, Sally and Andy Wasowski. 1994. Gardening With Native Plants of the South. Taylor Trade Publications.
    • This book includes specific information on over 200 familiar, easy-to-find native plants, over 250 color photographs, nine sample garden plans, and more.


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Backyard Resources

There are many books and published articles about backyard wildlife. While planning the creation or enhancement of your "Wild Acre", you may find that these references can help you choose your materials and create and carry out your design. Below are listed just some of the books that are available.  If you can't find these books in your local bookstore, you can usually find them in specialty nature stores.

This list is for your convenience only and should not be considered an endorsement by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.


  • Arbib, Robert and Tony Soper.  1971.   The Hungry Bird Book.   New York: Taplinger Publishing Co.

  • Barrington, Rupert.  1971. A Garden for Your Birds.  New York:  Grosset & Dunlap.

  • Bird, David M.  1986.   City Critters: How to Live with Urban Wildlife.  Montreal:   Eden Press.

  • Conant, Roger.  1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

  • Cox, Jeff.  1991. Landscaping with Nature: Using Nature's Design to Plan Your Yard. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press.

  • Curtis, Will and Jane.  1980. Backyard Bird Habitat: Create Your Own Thriving Bird Sanctuary.  Woodstock, VT: The Countryman Press.

  • Degraaf, Richard M. and Gretchin M. Witman.  1979.  Trees, Shrubs and Vines for Attracting Birds: A Manual for the Northeast.   Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.

  • Dennis, John V.  1975.   A Complete Guide to Bird Feeding.   New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

  • Dennis, John V.  1986.   Beyond the Bird Feeder.  New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

  • Dennis, John V.  1985.   The Wildlife Gardener.  New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

  • Du Pont, E.N.  1978.   Landscaping with Native Plants in the Middle-Atlantic Region.  The Brandywine Conservancy, Inc., Chadds Ford, PA.

  • Foote, L.W. and S.B. Jones, Jr.  1989.   Native Shrubs and Woody Vines of the Southeast: Landscape uses and Identification.  Beaverton, Oreg.: Timber Press.

  • Gilliam, Harry L.  1973.   More Wildlife on Your Property.   Richmond: Virginia Commission of Game and Inland Fisheries.

  • Harrison, George H.  1979.   The Backyard Bird Watcher.   New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc.

  • Harrison, Kit and George.  1985.   America's Favorite Backyard Wildlife.   New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc.

  • Henderson, Carroll L.  Woodworking for Wildlife.  Nongame Wildlife Program-Section of Wildlife, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Rd., Box 7, St. Paul, MN 55155-4007.

  • Henderson, Carroll L.  1987.   Landscaping for Wildlife.   Nongame Wildlife Program-Section of Wildlife, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Rd., Box 7, St. Paul, MN 55155-4007.

  • Hightshoe, G.L.  1987.   Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America: A Planting Design Manual for Environmental Designers.   New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

  • Kress, Stephen W., and Robert Burton. 2005. National Audubon Society's The Bird Garden. DK Publishing.

  • Kress, Stephen W.  1985.   The Audubon Society Guide to Attracting Birds.  New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, Inc.

  • Mahnken, Jan.  1983.   Feeding the Birds.  Pownal, VT:  Garden Way Publishing.

  • Martin, Alexander C., Herbert S. Zim, and Arnold Nelson.   1951.  American Wildlife and Plants: A Guide to Wildlife Food Habits.  New York: Dover, 1951.

  • Martin, L.C.  1986.   The Wildflower Meadow Book.  Charlotte, NC: East Woods Press Books.

  • Mohrhardt, David and Richard E. Schinkel.  1991.  Suburban Nature Guide.  Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books.

  • Mooberry, F.M. and J.H. Scott.  1980.   Grow Native Shrubs in Your Garden.   Chadds Ford, PA: The Brandywine Conservancy.

  • National Wildlife Federation.  1974.   Gardening with Wildlife.   Washington, D.C.: National Wildlife Federation.

  • Peterson, Roger Tory.  1980.   A Field Guide to the Birds East of the Rockies.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

  • Peterson, Roger Tory and Margaret McKenny.  1968.  Wildflowers of Northeastern/North Central North America.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

  • Proctor, Dr. Noble.  1985.   Garden Birds: How to Attract Birds to Your Garden.  Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press.

  • Sawyer, Edmund J.  1969.   Homes for Wildlife-Baths and Feeding Shelters.  Bloomfield, MI: Cranbook Institute of Science.

  • Schutz, Walter E.  1973.   Bird Watching, Housing and Feeding.   Milwaukee: Bruce Publishers.

  • Stokes, Donald W., Lillian Stokes, and Ernest Williams. 1991. The Butterfly Book: An Easy Guide to Butterfly Gardening, Identification and Behavior. Little, Brown and Company.
    • Book dedicated to butterfly gardening

  • The Xerces Society. 2011. Attracting Native Pollinators: The Xerces Society Guide to Conserving North American Bees and Butterflies and Their Habitat. Storey Publishing.
    • Offers a complete action plan for protecting native pollinators by providing flowering habitat and nesting sites

  • Terres, John.  1968.   Song Birds in Your Garden, rev. ed.   New York: T.Y. Crowell.

  • Tekulsky, M.  1985.   The Butterfly Garden.  Boston: Harvard Common Press.

  • Tekulsky, M.  1990.   The Hummingbird Garden.  New York: Crown Publishers.

  • Webster, Wm David, et.al.  1985.   Mammals of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland.  Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.

  • Wetmore, Alexander, et. Al.  1975.   Song and Garden Birds of North America.   Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society.

  • Yepsen, Roger B., Jr.  1984. The Encyclopedia of Natural Insect and Disease Control. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press.
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    Habichat, the newsletter for Stewards of Maryland's Backyard Wildlife, is published by the Wildlife and Heritage Service, Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

    The facilities and services of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources are available to all without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, physical or mental disability. This document is available in alternative format upon request from a qualified individual with a disability.

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    Write to Me!

    Kerry Wixted
    Natural Resources Biologist II
    Maryland Wildlife and Heritage Service
    MD Dept of Natural Resources
    580 Taylor Ave., E-1
    Annapolis MD  21401

    phone: 410-260-8566
    fax: 410-260-8596
    e-mail: kwixted@dnr.state.md.us

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