Bird Life

Its been a busy time here in the Itsty Bitsy Wildlife Garden with lots of activity going on. With the arrival of summer its bursting in to flower and humming with bees. The most striking change in the garden, however, is the amount of bird activity I’m seeing here. There’s lots of it! The feeders and bird table I’d set up outside near the kitchen window last year (so I can watch our feathered friends whilst washing the dishes) have really paid off. I’m also sure that the extra leafy cover provided by my newly planted fruit trees and bushes has also helped to entice them in to the garden , offering them safe perching sites as well as a source of fresh insect food. As you can see from the pictures snapped by my motion activated Bird Camera, blue tits, coal tits , starlings , magpies and house sparrows have now become regular feeders at my bird table. A lot of people think that there is no need to feed birds after the winter has ended though the advice from bodies such as the RSPB say that it is still really helpful to continue feeding, though care needs to be taken to offer food which cant be offered to their chicks and risk them chocking . A good guide on safe bird feeding in the summer can be seen at the RSPB’s website here

Blue Tits (above and below photos) feeding on the suet blocks put out for them. Whilst they are very busy foraging for caterpillars and other insects on my bushes(to feed to their chicks) the adult birds really benefit from suet, nuts and seeds to keep their own energy levels up.

Its great to see house sparrows(above) and starlings (below) finally visiting my feeders. Once very common birds , their numbers have crashed massively over the past few decades and are both now on the “red list” as requiring the highest conservation priority . By putting up suitable nest boxes in our gardens and offering them food throughout the year, we can really make a big difference in helping to halt their decline

Magpies have also become regular visitors to the wildlife garden. The smashed starling egg (seen below) was found on a flower bed which sat below my guttering and where a pair of starlings had made a nest. Although the magpie is a regular visitor to my birdtable and gorges on my suet blocks ( as can be seen below), they do have a reputation for eating other birds eggs. Whilst this can be seen as sad occurrence, I accept it as an inevitable part of the “cycle of life” within the natural world. And the starlings will undoubtedly go on to lay more eggs and raise other chicks which, hopefully, wont all be predated.

My “Bird Feeding station” set up as seen from my kitchen window. Those with a keen eye will notice the flock of sparrows sitting on the bush and fence, towards the middle of the photo.

One of the easiest and effective ways to support our declining bird population is by putting bird tables or bird feeders in our gardens. Not only will you be helping our threatened wildlife, you will also be providing yourself with the joy and endless fascination of seeing our feathered friends “up close and personal” in our gardens. If you’re not sure where to start, then the RSPB have a great page on how to go about it at the following link here

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