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Caring for Wild Garden Birds

Summer can be a difficult time for our birds, as the hot, dry weather makes finding water and extracting worms from soft, rich soil more difficult than in the Spring and Autumn months. To help you garden birds thrive, we’ve compiled our garden bird guide to help entice wild birds into your garden and keep them happy and healthy during the warmer weather.

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What to look out for

Many of our rarer birds have almost finished their annual migration South, so while we might still be lucky enough to spot one or two semi-native species in August, now is the perfect time to enjoy spotting our classic garden favourites, like the blackbird, blue tits and finches. Keep track of the birds you see in your garden daily with our handy checklist:

◦ Blue Tit

◦ Great Tit

◦ Long-tailed Tit

◦ Coal Tit

◦ Robin

◦ Greenfinch

◦ Goldfinch

◦ Chaffinch

◦ Bullfinch

◦ Jay

◦ Song Thrush

◦ Mistle Thrush

◦ Dunnock

◦ Magpie

◦ Wood Pigeon

◦ Collared Dove

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Enticing birds into your garden

There’s nothing better than watching the birds flit in and out of your garden on a Summer’s day. To encourage the local birds to make your garden a regular pit stop, be sure to provide a constant supply of food and fresh water. Whilst larger birds like jays and woodpeckers enjoy peanuts, sunflower seeds are often the food of choice for smaller birds such as tits and sparrows. Not only are sunflower seeds readily available from garden centres and pet shops, you can easily grow your own. In the Autumn, when your sunflower heads start to die back, save the seeds and store them in a cool dry place to use as bird food.

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How to prep a nesting box

Having a nesting box or two in your garden is perfect for creating a sheltered space for wild birds to lay their eggs. Make sure that your nesting box is out of direct sunlight so the young chicks don’t get too hot. By placing the birdhouse in the branches of a tree, you’re providing shade and protection for the chicks, as well as a nearby source of nutrition for the busy parents.

Top tip: save the hair that your pet sheds. Instead of throwing away the downy fur that collects in the brush when you groom your dog, fasten it to a tree or post in your garden. Birds love this soft and warm material when building their nests.

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Creating a wildlife haven

We all love to see a clear and tidy garden, but being overly tidy isn’t the best way to keep the birds happy. By letting your garden grown slightly wild, you’re creating a space for insects, worms and spiders to live, all of which make nutritious snacks for small birds. Stay away from pesticides and chemicals as these can be harmful to birds; instead, try using a natural predator. A hedgehog will be as useful for keeping the slugs away from your flowers as any slug pellets, and they won’t cause any harm to the birds.

 

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