Garden Birds

Date: 2014-02-06 11:38:01 | Category: Bird Watching | Author: Neill Hunt
Believe it or not some of the common birds you see day to day are already preparing to breed. Birds in the Crow Family are notoriously early breeders with some species such as the Rook laying eggs as early as the first week in March, they will be busy nest building at the local Rookery right the way through February.

Crossbills and Blackbirds are also known to lay in March so nest building is imminent. Our garden birds will be setting up territories, some like Chaffinch and Great Tits will already be pairing up.

Treecreeper with nesting material
Treecreeper with nesting material (April Breeder)

Watch the birds around your Feeders, you may well see added activity, squabbling and fighting, maybe some courtship, watch for birds carrying nesting materiel in the coming weeks. Birds will often practice nest building in the early stages in preparation of 'getting it right' when the time comes for laying.

This winter has been wet and mild, winds have been an issue but that doesn't really bother the garden birds too much, the milder weather will accelerate the birds in to breeding and we may well find that the breeding season will start early and many birds will optimise the milder weather and try to get extra broods in during the year.

Feeders need to be kept full, activities like defending and setting up territories, nest building, singing and courtship take up much more energy than usual so don't forget to top them up.

Another good idea is to assist the early breeders is to offer nest building materials to your bird Feeding Station. Short lengths of wool are great and can be put in a mesh feeder, birds will happily use this for lining their nests.

Singing male Corn Bunting
Singing male Corn Bunting

You will notice an increase in bird song, Robins, Blackbirds and Great Tits will be most prevalent with more species joining them in the coming weeks.

It's a really good idea to listen and find the bird that is singing. You will, in no time at all become very familiar with identifying birds by the song alone, each time you hear something different, take a look and add on to your garden list.

The first Summer migrants are just around the corner and will be with us in the very near future... Sand Martins often arrive in late February, so they have already departed their wintering grounds, keep an eye open for them arriving later this month. Wheatears are also early arrivals but March is their peak month.

The busiest time in the avian calendar is just around the corner so start preparing your garden now. Clean and stock Feeders, empty old nest boxes, offer nesting materials, cut back plants once the risk of frost has gone and try not to cut them back once nest building is in full flow.

Enjoy your garden and enjoy your garden birds.