Supporting garden birds
As we move out of winter and inch towards spring we thought it would be prudent to share some details around how you can support the bird life that frequents your garden.
Did you know that in the 1970s, half of all birds using garden bird feeders in urban areas belonged to only two species. Believe it or not, the sparrow and starling made up 50% of all legacy garden feeder visitors in built up areas!
jump forward fifty years and the number of bird species making up the same proportion of feeding traffic has tripled; among the most increased is the wood pigeon, goldfinch and long-tailed tit.
The reason? Bird feeders are now far more prevalent in our gardens - and not just over the winter months, this is a fast growing all-year-round activity.
It’s believed that half of all homeowners now feed garden birds, which is estimated to support in excess of 130 species, many of which were rarely seen in our gardens until recently. Among those now seen are spotted woodpeckers, sparrow-hawks, pheasants, magpies and nuthatches.
While some may feel that garden feeders force the hand of nature, and drive birds into urban areas, the wider view is that homeowners are simply substituting a food gap that has developed elsewhere. For example, the rise in combine harvesting, which is extremely efficient at collecting grain, and the development of sealed grain silos, results in cleaner farms, therefore less surplus grain for birds to feed upon. Additionally, farmers are also able to cultivate land that was previously left untouched, allowing them to plough right to the edges of boundaries, resulting in less hedgerow habitats and associated food sources.
So with this in mind, If you’re not supporting birds in your garden already, you can start doing so very easily. Simply up-cycle and repurpose old items into bird feeders and shelters - there’s honestly an option for everyone in the images that follow. Enjoy!