Helping wildlife thrive

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By Katy Korkos

“This property provides the four basic habitat elements needed for wildlife to thrive: food, water, cover and places to raise young,” states the sign on the gate of the Moss home on Arizona Avenue. Similar signs are popping up all over town, the most recent appearing in the yard of Skip and Hedy Dunn on Sierra Vista in White Rock,  the 25th certified backyard habitat in Los Alamos County, and number 92,126 with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).“It was really easy to become certified,” Hedy Dunn said. “We already had a lot of scrub for cover, and we keep our cat inside.” She added that they have been using a birdbath heater for many years for water in the winter, and that they have not seen an increase in the number of pesky animals since they began providing water.Skip Dunn, whose sister, Erica H. Dunn, is the co-author of a book called “Birds at Your Feeder,” said that his family’s interest in birds stemmed from an inspiring eighth-grade science teacher named Doug Sands.“He was legendary,” Skip Dunn said.

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