Give a bird a home!

national nest box week

This great idea is organised by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and gives us all a chance to get involved in helping our wildlife.

With more and more trees being cut down we need to not only protect our wildlife but also encourage more birds to come home to roost.

National Nest Box Week takes places from 14-21 February 2015 and is a great time to get the whole family involved, you can buy a ready made box or if you are feeling more adventurous why not make your own the National Nest Box Week Website has some great advice. Different types of nest boxes attract different birds, Robins are partial to open fronted boxes whereas a Great Spotted Woodpecker likes a large box with holes.

Once you have decided on the type of box you would like to put up you then need to take the necessary steps to ensure it will be in favour with your feathered friends. The main points to keep in mind are :

  • Don’t position nest boxes of the same type too close together as this may promote aggressive behaviour.
  • Shelter your box from rain, strong sunlight & prevailing winds. Ensure the box is angled vertically.
  • Position boxes 3 meters from the ground preferably on a tree trunk, although sheds & walls work just as well.
  • Ensure open-fronted boxes are hidden from view with shrubs & plants.
  • Position nest box away from feeders, as high levels of activity can birds disturb nesting.

There are now around 6 million nest boxes in the UK and I’m happy to say we have a few in our garden. It’s fascinating to be able to watch the comings and goings of our little neighbours and knowing that we are doing our bit to ensure our native breeds continue to strive.

Good luck with your nesting, I hope boxes are busy! Why not pop onto our Facebook page and send us your piccies we’d love to see your success x

Feeding the birds this Autumn?

Autumn Birds

Autumn is an ever changing season and it can be a very important and rewarding time to feed your wild garden birds. It is possible to attract a wide variety of species if you ensure they are happily fed and watered.

At this time of year, food and water will need to be put out on a regular basis to ensure freshness and once you have established a feeding routine; your birds will become familiar and visit your garden regularly. It is important to offer additional food as natural food sources begin to reduce.

Birds require high fat foods for energy during colder months to maintain their fat reserves to help them survive frosty conditions. It is therefore wise to use good quality food and scraps.

The best autumn bird foods consist of sunflower hearts, suet, nuts and sunflower seeds.

Providing the right foods and feeding your wildlife is only half the battle!  Making sure the environment is safe is equally important. Feeders will need to be checked for damage, ideally squirrel-proof bird feeders are essential to prevent foraging foreigners and it is essential to keep your seed and nuts fresh and dry, I would recommend a storage tin to keep naughty nibblers at bay.

Bird baths are great when filled with fresh, clean water and if you allow fallen leaves to build up under trees and shrubs this will attract insects, and provide your feathered friends with necessary shelter. Don’t despair if you have a smaller yard, bird boxes are perfect for providing warmth and shelter too!