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Any Advice on relationships between local insects & birds? (first post)

 
Posts: 3
Location: Alberta, Canada
cat urban
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Hello. I am on a rental property in the city. my goal is to do some work to improve the soil quality and grow plants to attract/help bees.

I am wondering if anyone knows more about the relationship between the bugs and birds I have seen on the property thus far:

-The most predominant life is ants, there looks to be one colony with the mound in the back corner of the south/east flowerbed and tunnels extending all along the east wall of the house.
(have never had any inside the house).
-There was also a wasp nest inside the north wall of the house via the bathroom vent. they were coming inside sometimes while we were doing our business,
so we got rid of them and sealed off all the entrances we could find. killed two small brown spiders (living in the upstairs and downstairs bathroom respectively) in the process.
only other spiders i have seen on the property are dandy-long-legs, usually outside on the north wall of the house but once there was one in my clean laundry basket.

-when the snow had finally melted there was lots of lady bugs in the yard as well, but only for a short while.

-In early summer there were some small birds nesting on top of some kind of power box on the north wall (we think the box gets warm and that's why).
Other birds i have seen are magpies (chillin' around the trees on the west side of the property and the trash bins), and another small brown bird common throughout the canadian prairies,
I think they are called barn-sparrows? (they hang out on top of a hedge on the south-west side of the door right against the house. top of hedge is dead where they sit.)

-There is a family of jack rabbits living in the back alley usually chillin' in the neighbor's yard (babies were born there) and when they were small they'd hide under the shed sometimes.

Life i do not see: bees and worms.
bees are rare in the city period, no sign of worms surfacing after rain storms and no robins foraging for them in the yard (there are some robins in the city though).
I also don't see squirrels on the property but there are lots of melanistic (black) squirrels in the city.

Does anyone know if the wasps were a food source for any of the birds etc.?
Why did the ladybugs disappear after like a month? how long do they live?
There weren't that many spiders around for such an old house even before we sprayed for the wasps..I thought ants attracted spiders?
We are starting to have cold days now and usually lots of bugs come inside during this time but I haven't seen any mass exodus of bugs.. maybe because of all the holes we sealed to keep the wasps out?

I have done some research on vermiculture, but not sure i can introduce worms and have a worm tower because I have ants in the only flower bed with space, and the bed is also full of broken glass.

In regards to the ants I haven't noticed any indication of aphids but will be checking the nearby plants when the ants come out again in the summer.

Sorry for so many questions! any Advice on how to work with the above life forms for a better environment in the yard is super appreciated!

 
pollinator
Posts: 1793
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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In my experience, all you have to do is plant lots of diverse plants and work on building soil.  Everything else will take care of itself.  There seems to be kind of a snowball effect.  At first little change will begin to be evident, but as things grow, the population of wildlife of all sorts grows exponentially.  Create good bird habitat by planting thick bushes they can nest and hide in, build soil and plant lots of plants, especially herbs and insectiary plants.  After that, sit back and enjoy  The birds will come, the good soil will bring the worms and soil creatures, the pollinators will come, and it will just keep getting better.
 
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