A Spring-fling!

This year, April as we know it – will be very different as we all reside safely within our homes. Despite the strange times we currently live in, our gardens are all starting to witness increased wildlife activity. The weather-beaten plants and trees are beginning to bloom and flourish as they embark on enriching the landscape for the summer months ahead. At this time, the garden bird is either in courtship or still in search for a mate. You may see some birds in mid-flight carrying twigs and debris, which is a clear sign they are constructing a nest to raise their first brood.

Birds will often ‘stakeout’ the desired nesting location to ensure there’s no risk of danger. In most cases, it’s the female that builds the nest, but in some cases, the male of the species is on ‘wing’ to help her. Yet not all species run to the aid of their partner, some simply do nothing (sound familiar!). The gathered twigs, leaves and debris are entwined together to form a primary structure. For extra bonding, birds will use a natural glue such as their own saliva, spider webs and mud. Each nest is built to its own design which is unique to that particular species.

Whatever species of bird you have in your garden, you can help them by hanging nesting wool in a caged suet feeder to provide softness and warmth, or even as you begin your spring garden clean, be sure to leave extra piles of twigs and leaves in nooks to give birds the opportunity to collect as required. The Tit family tends to choose the softest of nesting materials, for instance animal hair, hay, dandelions seed and discarded feathers.

The Robin Redbreast will also gather soft materials and moss to build their nest, often located nearer to the ground among climbing plants, hedges and log piles. Robins are famous for turning human items like kettles, wellington boots and dormant hanging baskets in to nesting sites. So be aware not to leave those walking boots outside for too long!

You may be excited when finding out that you have birds nesting in your garden as they let you witness the joy of nature from your doorstep. However, please remember getting too close to a nest can intimidate adult birds and you’ll been seen as a threat, in some cases this may cause the nest to be abandoned. All garden bird nests are protected by British law. It is illegal to deliberately disturb or destroy a live nest of any species.

Nature may well be thriving, yet natural food supplies are still in short supply. For many bird lovers this is also a crucial time for feeding as many species appear to expend considerable time and energy building nests, this leaves little time to find food. By ensuring your feeders remain topped up and by putting out extra feeds such as high energy suets, you will give your garden birds the extra boost to help finish their project.

Your help will empower our garden birds to raise the next generation and you will reap the benefits from seeing an abundance of fledglings visiting your feeders during the summer months. To prepare for this, make sure you have plenty of essential foods such as peanut granules to avoid them from choking on whole peanuts, sunflower chips and protein rich foods such as our delicious Fledgling Mix with added mealworms to see them through to adulthood.

As you relax or garden this Spring and Summer, we would love to see any bird activity going in your own wildlife haven, please email them to us at [email protected]. They may even appear on our website and Facebook page!

One thought on “A Spring-fling!

  1. Have you any tips on where to site bird boxes. We have had a few over the years but never had any takers although we have tried different types and sites. We get a good range of garden birds., tits, finches, wrens dunnocks, blackbirds, feral pigeons, doves and magpies as well as long-tailed tits and o ccasional sparrowhawk.

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