Creating a Backyard Nature Habitat Course

About this course

This is a Comprehensive course to learn general techniques to create & manage a Nature Habitat. Once completed, you will be eligible to move on towards your certification as a Nature Habitat Specialist. (Learn More!)

By the numbers

    • Lectures: 52
    • Quizzes: 46
    • Exams: 5
    • Assignments: 4
    • Videos: 36
    • Skill level: All Levels
    • Languages: English


    • Lifetime access
    • No time to completion restrictions
    • Mobile Ready
    • Certificate of Completion

See Syllabus for this course


If you love to feed, photograph, or just observe wildlife, this e-learning course is for you. You can do it at your own pace, place and time. And, you will acquire a better appreciation of nature, plus discover how you can provide a “helping hand” in your wildlife habitat. You will learn the essentials of a nature habitat, food, water, cover & space. The course will also cover the sixteen components of a nature habitat and how you can landscape to incorporate them into your design. Throughout the course we will stress Diversity within your landscape design and Identification of plants & wildlife.

Who Should Take the Course? This course is written to the level of the average consumer and would be considered a beginner level course. There are no prerequisites, other than an interest in wildlife and wildlife habitat, and the desire to learn more.

Here’s who we believe might be interested in the course:

  • Educators, especially science teachers High school students
  • Birders of all ages and skill levels
  • Residential property owners
  • Rural property owners
  • Wildlife enthusiasts
  • Home schoolers
  • Naturalists
  • Builders
  • Developers
  • Retired people
  • Zoning officials
  • Nature Center staff
  • Conservationists
  • Farmers and Ranchers
  • Environmentalists
  • Nursery People
  • People who love to feed, photograph, or watch birds
  • Natural resource professionals
  • Landscape architects
  • 4-H and Scout leaders
  • High School students
  • Wild Bird store owners and employees

What Are The Course Objectives? To learn how to better manage plants & wildlife on your property, plus develop a sense of stewardship toward wildlife and a land conservation ethics. The course will stress identification and the needs of plants & wildlife.

Learning Outcomes

Taking this course will allow you to:

  • Learn the benefits of landscaping for wildlife, for you, your family and your community.
  • Learn how to identify and attract common backyard wildlife species.
  • Learn why native plants are often the best choice when landscaping for wildlife.
  • Learn about pollination and how it occurs.
  • Learn backyard wildlife histories, habitat, and food requirements, and how to better understand wildlife behavior.
  • Learn how to deal with wildlife problems, plus invasive and exotic plant species.
  • Learn how to create a wildlife habitat enhancement plan for your property.
  • Learn how to reach out to others in your community with information on wildlife and wildlife habitat.

How Does It Work?

  • Units consist of reading assignments, videos and wildlife habitat plan assignments.
  • Quizzes to test knowledge
  • Videos are provided for additional learning
  • Landscape Design tool
  • Budgeting tool
  • Nature Habitat Assessment of your property to identify strengths & weakness
  • Interact with other students enrolled in the course
  • Apply to have your property admitted into The Registry of Nature Habitats

Focus of Course:

  • Identification of Plants & Animal Life
  • Proper use of plants & structures in the landscape
  • Planting techniques

What Participants Will Receive

  • Comprehensive resource materials with graphics, photos, and illustrations
  • Regional lists of recommended native plants for wildlife
  • Access to Registry staff via website or e-mail
  • Graduation certificate
  • A wildlife habitat enhancement plan for their residential property, (or other site), which they will use during the course.
  • References
  • State Bird Checklist
  • Suggested Readings
  • Plant Lists
  • Nesting Box and Feeder Plans
  • Become Eligible to earn your certification as a Nature Habitat Specialist

What are the requirements?

  • No prior knowledge is required
  • You do not have to own property
  • There are no prerequisites

What is the target audience?

  • Anyone that needs or wants to learn about nature habitats.


Stephen McCarthy
Biologist, Horticulturist, Naturalist certified as a Nature Habitat Specialist.

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