Brushpile: Wildlife Habitat

From YardMap‘s Facebook page:

Brushpile: Wildlife Habitat

We think this photo is beautiful! Why? It features a great component of wildlife habitat- a brushpile!

Do you have a brushpile in your backyard habitat? Show off your “really great brushpile” by entering YardMap’s Make My Backyard Birdier photo contest:

Here’s one of our brushpiles (we have at least five ‘official’ ones on our 7.5 acres), it measures approximately 30 x 20 feet:


The habitat in the background is wild; full of thickets that provide habitat for rabbits, small rodents and lots of birds, along with plenty of predators that feed on them. The open space is pollinator heaven, with wildflowers like goldenrod, heliopsis and jewelweed.

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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11 Responses to Brushpile: Wildlife Habitat

  1. They look great even in the snow. I’m sure they’re all getting ready for spring from the inside of the brushpile. I’m glad to learn the term, as I didn’t know it.

  2. Robbie says:

    Your brush pile looks a lot prettier than my brush pile-lol. I was walking around my soggy backyard today + it was 55 degrees-snow melting! yeah! I cleared some bush in my yard today because the bunnies that stay in our city lot over the winter need to go to greener places. My dogs will eat them in the summer, but I leave a lot of piles for them to hide in over the winter.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Bunnies in a veggie garden are not a happy match for the gardener! Your lot is pretty small, so I can imagine that there wouldn’t be much room for a brush pile. Your shrubbery and seed heads help birds and your flowers help pollinators. And because your garden organically, the ground itself is teeming with wildlife! 🙂 (I’ve told lots of people about your micro-bacteria post!)

      • Robbie says:

        I have a new animal that is trying to hang out in my yard-Mr. possum. They are such docile creatures, He hides out under one of my small piles and my porch. Today one of my other dogs cornered the poor thing + scared the death out of him. I have found when you garden organically it does make your lot inviting to 4 legged friends of the wild types:-)
        Love that micro-bacteria can’t wait to get out there in it…it snowed this morning! crazy:-)

  3. wow! I don’t think I have ever lived anywhere with “official” brushpiles. Obviously, we need to step it up here in CO.
    On a side note, Eliza, I believe you were the person who suggested the book about teenagers – “Get out of My Life…Can you take me to the Mall?” (I shortened the title). I can’t tell you what a gift this book has been to me and my family. (Yes, my husband even read it!) We all impact each other in so many ways. You have helped my family love and understand one another better. thank you!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Because you live in a fire hazard zone, brushpiles are probably frowned upon. My son lives in CA and any tinder is disposed of rapidly. Here in New England, everything rots.
      I am so glad you found the book useful, it helped us out A LOT! If only just to speak the title to state what was going on (humor relief for us) and to call out the kids. Growing up can be so challenging, I tried to acknowledge how self-conflicted they were. They want independence, but need us at the same time. Arghh! >:-(

  4. mk says:

    I do keep things messy near my bird feeders, to give the little ones a place to hide from the Cooper’s Hawk that comes around daily. I realize he has to eat too, but I was quite traumatized when I first spotted him in my yard, having successfully hunted just outside my window. I felt quite guilty.

  5. wspines says:

    I have brush piles where the woods begins in my back yard. I have and will continue to provide shelter and a food source for all birds and animals. In my front yard there is a grouping of a Christmas tree, Holly bushes and a large bush. Plenty of hiding places and shelter. This year I want to get some Junipers and Hemlock to start another area of shelter in the back yard near the sheep. People can do this even in the smallest of yards and when you think of the insects that the birds you draw to that shelter eat, the payback is well worth the effort.

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