IN ASSOCIATION WITH
l Tips to help nesting birds
l Essential jobs for spring
l Attract other wildlife
Size 24 cm; Wingspan 36 cm; Weight 100 g
Food: Invertebrates, especially
Clutch size: 3–4 eggs
Incubation: 13–14 days
Young fledge: 12–15 days
population now found in urban and suburban habitats. Garden
BirdWatch data show that Blackbirds use gardens seasona ly, with
wider countryside. The rest of the year their diet mainly consists
of insects and earthworms but they have also been known to eat
newts and fish from ponds.
Blackbirds build their untidy cup nests most often in trees and
bushes but wi l also use a variety of other situations including
ledges, log piles and even open-fronted nest boxes. Nests
towns and vi lages are more productive than those in woodland
and appear to begin their breeding season somewhat earlier. It is
with other thrush species, such as Redwing and Fieldfare.
FP_BIRDSPA4_BirdWatchiid3413147.pdf 16.03.2018 17:01
BTO GARDEN BIRDWATCH
Do you watch your
Be part of the UK’s largest year-round
garden bird survey
JOIN NOW for just £17 a year, and receive Bird Table magazine and the
fact-packed book Garden Birds and other wildlife, worth £14.99.
Kate Risely and Clare Simm
and other wildlife
154 BTO Garden Birds
Blackbird, by John Harding
One of our most familiar birds, the Blackbird is a species that has adapted particularly we l to the garden
enviroment. Part of this success stems from the fact that the Blackbird is a bird of woodland edges, a
habitat which our gardens resemble in many of their key features – such as scattered trees and bushes,
and areas of lawn.
A garden success
Origina ly a woodland bird, from the 19 th century Blackbirds
shifted into gardens and farmland, with a large proportion of their
earthworms. Fruit taken in autumn
a marked reduction in numbers in autumn due to secrecy during
their moult, and then the search for autumn fruit and seeds in the
Breeds: March to July
are usua ly positioned within some cover to reduce the risk of
predation and the impact of adverse weather. Birds nesting in
Blackbird nest and eggs, by Herbert & Howe ls
Number of broods: 2–3 per year
Population: 4.9 mi lion pairs
Max lifespan: 14 years, 9 months
Typical lifespan: 3 years
Garden reporting rate: 98%
thought that the increased productivity in urban areas is due to
the lower rate of nest predation in gardens (50%) compared to
woodland (80%). They will have two to three broods a year to
increase their overa l breeding output.
Both sexes are territorial during the breeding season. They
usually defend their territory through display and calls, but
occasiona ly short, violent fights wi l occur. Birds from different
pairs may be seen together in feeding areas outside breeding
territories but even here there can be some degree of tension
between individuals. In the winter, however, Blackbirds are more
gregarious, often feeding together in sma l flocks and associating
After what felt like a long, long winter, I’m sure I’m
not alone in being relieved to be able to get back out
into the garden, getting my hands dirty. After
working hard to create a wildlife-friendly garden
a couple of years ago, there’s plenty to be done to keep the
birds and other creatures coming back.
We hope this free magazine will help you do just that. As
well as tips on high-priority jobs for spring, we’ve taken a
look at some of the commonest garden visitors, and exactly
what they need to survive and thrive. Two are of particular
interest to me. I’m keeping an eye on the nestbox in which
Blue Tits successfully raised a brood last year, and they’re
showing every sign of returning. And I’m on tenterhooks as
to whether House Martins will use the boxes I put up. They
took a look last year – will they go a step further this time?
Whatever happens, I’m looking forward to seeing what
arrives next, and we’ve also got ideas from the BTO on
putting your garden sightings to good use
(on page 21). So, give wildlife gardening a
try, and enjoy the results of your hard work.
The birds will.
Essential gardening tasks for spring
How to help garden-nesting birds
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FP_BIRDSPA4_TMBirdWatcid3421597.pdf 21.03.2018 12:45
in spring and summer
If you’ve already started to create a bird and
wildlife-friendly garden, the arrival of spring is
when it really starts to pay off
With luck, your nestboxes will be
occupied, and the insects that
you’ve provided habitat for will be
a vital source of food for the young
birds raised in them.
You’ll remember to keep your feeders and bird
baths topped up throughout the spring and summer
(this allows adult birds to spend more of their time
finding food for the youngsters), and you can sit
back and reflect on a job well done.
Well, you deserve to relax, but May through to
October is still a busy time for the wildlife gardener.
Keep on top of the tasks below, and your garden
will be a haven for wildlife throughout the year.
This is a busy month for any gardener,
with frosts well and truly gone, and warm
l Prepare your beds for planting flowers,
shrubs and vegetables by digging them over,
weeding and adding compost if necessary.
This will have side benefits for garden birds that
eat worms, as they’ll be easier to find. Robins
are the best example, of course – their
behaviour around gardeners actually mimics
what they would do with Wild Boar as the large
mammals turn over earth.
l Try planting perennial flowers, which return
year after year, to add colour and to attract
insects. If you haven’t planted
wild flower seed (some species
need to be sown as early as the
previous October), don’t worry
– pot-grown wild flowers are
available at many garden
centres. Make sure you
water them in well, and
keep them moist.
l Prune springflowering
as Forsythia after they
l Plant herbs, herbaceous
plants, and container-grown
shrubs, and make up your hanging baskets.
l Sow salad vegetables, cabbages, etc.,
outdoors. If you have to take measures to
prevent birds from eating too many
(Woodpigeons can be very fond
of peas, for example), don’t use
netting that the birds could get
their feet tangled in – 4cm
netting should be fine,
stretched taut, and you can also
hang up old CDs to act as
bird-scarers (the artist is
irrelevant, of course, but we found
Cliff Richard’s do the trick).
Arterra Picture Library; Rob James*/Alamy
This is when you may start to notice insect 'pests' such as greenfly
and other aphids on some plants.
You need to avoid spraying them, as pesticides kill 'helpful'
insects such as ladybirds (which are themselves great
controllers of aphids and similar pests), and could
also harm those bird species such as Blue Tits
which feed on the tiny insects.
If such pests are really damaging your plants,
try washing them off with a dilute solution of
washing-up liquid. You may need to repeat this
from time to time, but it is a wildlife-friendly solution.
Water is vital for the summer garden, of
course. Pot plants will need to be watered
regularly – daily if there’s no rain – and
borders will also need water, so this might be
the time to invest in a rainwater butt. With
water an increasingly precious resource, it
will enable you to keep your garden green
without guilt. Remember, though, to fit
a lid (if your butt fills from a drainpipe), or
a fine mesh, to prevent small animals and
birds from becoming trapped in it.
Looking further ahead, consider planting
Mediterranean plants such as Lavender,
Cistus, Helianthemum (Rock Rose),
Rosemary, Spanish Broom, Salvias, Lambs'
Ears, and Aubrietia – these are used to a
drier climate, and cope well with drought
and generally lower rainfall.
Apply mulch to borders after rain – this
helps retain moisture.
T-B: Christopher Burrows*; Geoff Smith; Wieslaw Jarek; flowerphotos* all Alamy
6 Create the Perfect Bird Garden 2018
Shrubs and trees come into their own as the
summer draws on, and provide colour as
autumn arrives. The likes of Lavatera, Hebe,
Viburnum and Escallonia flower in summer
and are ideal here.
Start to let flowers (especially wild flowers),
plus a few vegetables, run to seed to provide
food for birds, and leave any windfall fruit for
Blackbirds and thrushes to feed on.
You may have been doing so all summer,
but leave a patch of lawn unmowed, as
this will both help insects, and
provide some seed food. If you
choose somewhere next to a wild
flower patch, sow Yellow Rattle
along the divide between the
flowers and grass – this grass
parasite prevents it from spreading.
ESCALLONIA HEBE VIBURNUM LAVATERA
Clockwise from left: blickwinkel; imageBROKER*; Martin Hughes-Jones*; Rex May*; Stephanie Jackson
- Gardens and flowers collection. All Alamy
Right: RM Floral*. Above: EDMUND SUMNER*. Both Alamy
Autumn is when gardeners traditionally do
much of their clearing up, but if you’ve got
a wildlife garden, try
to delay things a bit
(we often get good
weather late in October,
so there’s still time).
Leave seedheads, especially
on plants such as teasels,
thistles and sunflowers, for
species such as Goldfinches.
Allow vegetation to die back
naturally, as this can help birds to
find food and shelter throughout
Weeds and their seeds can be vital
in providing food for species such as
House Sparrows and finches, and
many also have attractive flowers for
pollinators, so try to avoid too much
weeding, but you can pull out any
particularly harmful ones by hand.
Now’s the time to plan your
borders for next year, and by
the end of the month you
should be planting any
herbaceous perennials and
container-grown plants – there
should be plenty of rain, and the soil is still
warm, giving them a chance to establish
themselves before winter.
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8 Create the Perfect Bird Garden 2018
FP_BIRDSPA4_P3982Plantid3413146.pdf 16.03.2018 17:00
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What some of our
garden nesters may
be up to this month
Our most common and familiar thrush is
so well known it doesn't even have
‘thrush’ in its name. Abundant and
present on just about every lawn. Males
are black with an orange-yellow bill and
eye-ring. Females are dark brown and
a bit spotty, betraying their thrush genes.
Males sing one of the most beautiful
songs of all British birds, especially at
dawn and dusk. Fluty and rich, with
complex phrasing (lacking the repetition
of the Song Thrush’s ditty). Females may
be seen gathering moss and small twigs
to make a nest.
Classic cup-like nest of twigs and moss
concealed in a bush or hedge. May use
open-fronted nestboxes or equally use the
nestbox roof as a platform for a nest.
How you can help
Don’t trim bushes or hedges during the
breeding season. Keep cats indoors or
away from the lawn and with no access to
Everyone knows the Robin, our
‘almost official’ national bird. Males
and females look the same. It is only
during the breeding season that you
will see two Robins tolerating each
other’s presence in the garden.
Though both sexes sing in the winter,
it is just the males that sing their
delightful ‘liquid silver’ song during
the spring (including at night time in
some cases). The pair will become
defensive of the territory, seeing off
intruders. You may even see some
feeding of the female by the male on
completion of the nest.
They nest in concealed hollows in
natural spaces or any cavity they can
find (in an old boot or kettle!); though
will take to open-fronted nest boxes.
How you can help
Don’t disturb nesting Robins. As with
Blackbirds, try to prevent cats from
attacking the youngsters. Keep providing
bird food and water.
10 Create the Perfect Bird Garden 2018
The abundant, ubiquitous sparrow is not
quite as abundant and ubiquitous as it
once was. They are still very common
birds, though, in many gardens.
Now, male House Sparrows are looking at
their brightest, with a larger black ‘bib’
and cleaner white cheeks. Contrary to
many people’s expectations male House
Sparrows do have a sort of ‘song’; though
this consists largely of repeated chirrups
with the head and tail somewhat cocked.
You may see them gather nest material
such as straw to take to a nest cavity.
Concealed within a roof space or nest
box. Will sometimes take to nest boxes
with hole fronts.
How you can help
One of our strangest and most exotic
birds is also one of our most ‘domestic’,
in that nearly all nest sites are in
buildings. Unlike most of our garden
breeders, the quality of the roof (or
nestbox) is much more important than
the available food in the garden (Swifts
will forage a long way from the nest site).
The mad screaming of chasing Swifts is
one of the great evocative sounds of a
British summer. Pairs will flirt and mate
on the wing; after all, Swifts do just
about everything in their lives (apart
from nesting) in the air!
Concealed within roof space (with
enough space for the adults to come in
and out), or will use suitable Swift nest
boxes, which are deep cavities with an
open sideways letterbox type of opening.
One reason mooted for House Sparrow
declines is too efficient insulation and
sealing of roof spaces. So, perhaps tolerate
small gaps in the roof. Or, provide nest
boxes, which are similar to Great Tit boxes.
How you can help
Put nestboxes under the eaves; if there are
Swifts checking out your area. You could
play Swift calls on a loop to attract birds;
but you'll need tolerant neighbours!
Like the House Sparrow and Swift, the
House Martin’s nests are nearly always
on human buildings. Unlike the former
two species, though, they don’t require
cavities in roof spaces, but just an
overhanging eave or similar on which
to build their dome-like mud nest.
House Martins nest in loose colonies,
often near where there is plenty of easily
accessible soft mud for nest-building. In
spring, you can see them gathering
gobbets of mud from the edge of muddy
pools etc., to plaster onto the wall. It can
take a week or two to make a nest.
Although they prefer sites near to
accessible mud supplies, House Martins
will also take to ready-made House
Martin nestboxes, placed under eaves.
How you can help
Gracing UK’s suburbs and rural
communities since arriving naturally in
the 1950s, the Collared Dove is now
ubiquitous and common across the whole
of the country.
Males produce the three-note cooing
song, often for extended periods. Pairs
may ‘bill and coo’ and bow to the other
prior to mating. Twigs are gathered to
build the nest.
Collared Dove nests are among the most
flimsy and pathetic-looking structures,
being rather loose associations of twigs.
May be concealed within a tree (eg a
leylandii), but often reasonably obvious!
Put up nestboxes. Encourage your
neighbours to welcome House Martins
and under no circumstances put up those
terrible spikes some people place under
their eaves to stop House Martin ‘mess’!
How you can help
Try not to disturb nesting Collared Doves
and certainly don’t trim their nesting trees,
during the breeding season. Keep an eye
on your local pair and work out where they
are trying to nest; then leave them space.
Keep feeding garden birds.
12 Create the Perfect Bird Garden 2018
The ubiquitous Great Tit is one of our
most familiar garden birds, as well as
one of the easiest to attract to gardens
Males can be told from females in
being slightly brighter in colour and
with a black belly stripe which is wide
and reaches down to the lower belly.
The female's is narrower and it fizzles
out on the belly. In spring, males
produce a variety of repetitive
‘two-note’ songs roughly transcribed
as ‘teacher teacher’.
Great Tits nest in cavities in trees and
readily take to nestboxes with a hole
front (diameter of hole: 28mm). They
will also nest in any concealed hole
they can find and get into.
How you can help
The Starling is another bird which
has undergone dramatic national
population declines in the UK, but is
still going strong in some areas.
Males (pale blue base to bill; female’s
have a paler, pinker bill base) sing
their incredible songs in spring. Full of
clicks, mimicry and wizardry, the
complex song sounds like more than
one bird must be producing it. Often
sung from a rooftop or aerial. Starlings
gather ‘straw’ and other material to
build the nest which is within a cavity.
Starlings nest ‘colonially’ in roof
spaces and holes in trees etc., or in
open fronted nestboxes, even taking
over ones provided for Swifts!
Put up suitable nest boxes. As with other
garden birds, Great Tits respond well to
extra feeding, throughout the year, not
just the winter. Don't feed them on foods
such as stale bread, though.
How you can help
Put out suitable nest boxes. Keep feeding
your garden birds. Traditionally, Starlings
were regarded as 'bullies' of the bird table.
But with hugely declining numbers,
remember that even these garrulous
garden birds need a bit of help.
Mats Lindberg/Alamy *
Rivalling the Great Tit for the easiest
bird to attract to a garden nestbox, the
Blue Tit is a familiar character across
most of the country.
Males can, with care, be distinguished
from females by having a reduced blue
cap, with more white on the forehead.
They perform a lovely ‘parachuting’
display flight after a brief trill, seemingly
flying in slow-mo and gliding on spread
wings to impress his mate. The pair
spend a lot of time adding moss, etc., to
the nest, which is most frequently in a
hole-fronted nestbox in gardens.
Most garden Blue Tits nest in nestboxes,
with a 25mm diameter hole. They will,
however, nest in any suitable cavity.
How you can help
Sadly, partly due to the spread of
a disease which has been linked to
unclean feeding environments,
Greenfinches, like many smaller birds
in the UK, have undergone a big
population crash. Once very common,
now they are more localised.
One of the great treats of a sunny spring
day in the suburbs is watching the
‘butterfly’ display flight of the
Greenfinch. Only the males do it, while
singing their twittering songs. They also
produce a wheezy, drawn-out nasal note,
often from a high tree or roof.
Greenfinches make a cup-like nest
of twigs and grass lined with fur
within a dense bush or shrub. They
Put up suitable nestboxes! Though
they will find thousands of caterpillars by
themselves (which they need to feed
the youngsters), a bit of supplementary
feeding for the adults is, as usual,
How you can help
Provide suitable nesting shrubs and, of
course, don’t trim your bushes during the
breeding season. And, as usual, keep
putting out food for the birds (but keep
the feeding area clean and disinfected).
14 Create the Perfect Bird Garden 2018
The unobtrusive Dunnock is legendary
for its breeding antics. Having spent most
of the winter hopping around being
ignored, their complex sex lives come to
life in a big way in the spring.
Dunnocks employ as many strategies
for pairings and beyond, as you could
imagine. In spring they seem to spend
an inordinate amount of time chasing
each other and flicking their wings,
not to mention males pecking at
females' cloacas! The males make a
pleasing warbling ditty, often from the
top of a hedge.
Built by the female, the best is a cup
made of twigs and moss, lined with hair,
within a dense bush or hedge.
How you can help
The UK’s commonest bird is abundant
wherever there is suitable cover, though
it is not always obvious (as it is tiny,
quick and finds cover easily). If you
know its voice, though, you will notice
them everywhere, probably even in
Wrens produce an amazingly loud and
powerful song for such a small
creature! Males blast out their ultra-fast
ditty made up of fast trills and warbles
with increased frequency in spring. As
they sing, you may see them wagging
their tail slowly from side to side.
Males make a ball-like nest within a
cavity in a shed or a hole in a wall or
a tree. They will also take readily to
nestboxes either of the open-fronted
type or the hole-fronted tit-box style.
Don’t cut back hedges during the
breeding season. Dunnocks do much of
their feeding on the lawn or at least at
ground level, so make sure that cats are
kept under control, especially during the
How you can help
Put out nestboxes. Also don’t make your
garden too tidy, as Wrens like nooks and
crannies. Wrens will feed on food such as
mealworms put out for them.
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With over 25 years experience, our in-house blend of bird food is made
with the finest ingredients. We pride ourselves on being the best at satisfying
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In addition to our home produced wild
bird seed mixes and straight seeds,
we also sell a wide range of suet and
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nest boxes, bird feeding accessories
and a wide variety of other pet foods.
First time buyers will receive a 10%
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FOR ALL NEW
OR PHONE YOUR ORDER THROUGH ON
74 Station Road, Deeping St James, PE6 8RQ email@example.com Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm Sat: 9am-3pm
1 MAKE A BEE HOTEL
Help our pollinators by
putting up bee homes.
Those for solitary bees,
consisting of tubes and
tunnels within boxes,
work particularly well. But
you don’t even have to
buy one – cut the top off
a plastic 2-litre pop bottle,
then stuff it with
twigs, bamboo, etc.
hanging at chest height or
above, are best. Bees
usually colonise these
homes in spring.
Arterra Picture Library/Alamy
and how you can provide them
To attract more birds to your garden, a holistic approach, encouraging all sorts of
wildlife, pays dividends. During spring and summer, there are plenty of things you
can do to improve your garden for all sorts of creatures
Jerome Murray - CC/Alamy
HELP A 'HOG
Hedgehogs need your help even during the warmer months. For a start, they have
young to feed, and also need plenty of food themselves as they forage. Don’t put out
bread or milk, as people often used to – good quality cat or dog food is far better, or raw
minced meat mixed with raw egg.
CREATE A WOODPILE
These give shelter to small invertebrates
such as centipedes and ground
beetles, which then eat
slugs and other garden
pests at night. Even
a small pile of
twigs can pay
early in the
by the end of
have a habitat
in which insects
can shelter during
Hoverflies and ladybirds are good garden ‘pestcatchers’,
and hoverflies do not sting even though they
look similar to wasps. Marigolds can be planted to attract
them. But wasps themselves can also play a part – they
are good controllers of many garden 'pests', including
flies and grubs, as well as being useful pollinators of flowers.
BUILD A BAT BOX
By June, bats will be
breeding. While eaves and fascias
are used, you can help them and
your house by putting up bat boxes
(south-facing locations work best)
as early as possible in the spring.
TOLERATE A BIT OF MESS
Mowing your lawn half as often, or leaving a
patch completely unmown, helps insects, while weeds
only need to be removed if they’re actually harming
your other plants.
The Hawke Endurance ED 12-36x50 spotting scope
is the perfect compact scope, offering excellent
optical performance in a small and lightweight
package – perfect if you're planning to do some
birdwatching abroad, or if you're also carrying
It boasts dielectric coatings designed to increase
light reflectivity, fully multi-coated optics to produce
sharp images, close focus down to 2.5m, BAK-4 porro
prisms for intense colour and contrast, a dual focus
knob to achieve ultra fine focusing, a stay-on soft
scope cover for maximum protection, twist-up eye
cup and pull out sunshade, and digi-scope
compatibility for use with your camera. And it all
weighs in at just 700g, and costs just £299.99.
For further details on it and Hawke's other
scopes, go to hawkeoptics.com
7 GIVE REPTILES
Corrugated iron or plastic laid
flat on a sunny border can
provide hiding places for
reptiles. Don’t be tempted to
disturb them, though.
LAST, BUT NOT LEAST, CREATE A POND!
l Give at least one side
of it a long, shallow slope, to
allow easy access for wildlife,
and on steep sides place
wooden or stone ramps. A few
large, flat stones on the sloping
side will create a perfect
habitat for amphibians/insects.
l Shading over part of the
pond helps reduce problems
with algae, but too much shade
is not good for wildlife, so keep
an eye on overhanging
l Mid-spring through to
early summer are the best
times for planting your
wildlife pond, as the water
will have warmed a little
and plants will have started
growing. Early autumn,
though, is the best time
for maintenance, before
l Don’t be too hasty
about topping up the pond
during dry weather, but if
you do, try to use rainwater
from a butt.
l Around 25-35% open
water is perfect for a wildlife
pond, so don’t clear too much
vegetation or algae. Barley
straw is the best way to keep the
latter under control.
l Let the plants at the side
grow unhindered so that
frogs, toads and newts have
safe hiding places.
Take extra care when working
or mowing there.
The National Trust Photolibrary/Alamy*
18 Create the Perfect Bird Garden 2018
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Attract more birds and wildlife to your garden by
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To see a full range of pond plants,
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Tel: 01778 341199 - Web: www.watergardeningdirect.com
EXCLUSIVE The World’s First Cherry Bush!
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A brand new way of growing cherries,
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The first ever “cherry bush” – ‘Porthos’ – forms a neat clump of fruiting
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you’ll save a small fortune over the life of your tree!
‘Porthos’ is 100% self-fertile so you won’t need a second tree to pollinate
it, and of course boasts iconic cherry blossom that will bring your garden
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YOUR ORDER DETAILS
Item Description Price Qty Subtotal
NEW Cherry Bush ‘Porthos’
Established Plant in a 3L Pot LIMITED STOCK- ORDER NOW
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300095 Nectarine ‘Garden Beauty’ 60-70cm Bare-Root Tree SAVE £5.00 £14.99
150051 Tree Planting Kit – All You Need To Plant 2 Trees £6.99
100046 Blooming Fast Organic Fish, Blood & Bone – 1.5Kg Pack £6.99
JOIN THE YOUGARDEN CLUB - Get £20.00 FREE vouchers & SAVE 10% on EVERY ITEM you order!
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Orders dispatched within 7 days. Delivery to UK only and a £6.00 surcharge will apply to the following postcode areas: AB, BT, DD8-11, GY, HS,
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MC 52103 297x210 Cherry Bush Porthos.indd 1 21/03/2018 12:57
FP_BIRDSPA4_BIRDWATCHIid3421619.pdf 21.03.2018 12:59
GET THE BEST FROM YOUR
Watching your garden birds?
Make your records count!
WHY MONITOR GARDEN BIRDS?
By sending your garden bird records to the
British Trust for Ornithology, you can make a
difference to its understanding of how birds use
our gardens, and how changes in our cities and
countryside are affecting birds.
The BTO Garden BirdWatch Survey has
been running since 1995 and has charted the
decline of House Sparrow, has linked garden
feeding with the increase in wintering Blackcaps
in the UK over the last 30 years, and has helped
us understand how birds choose between natural
foods and garden bird feeders.
Monitoring and recording your garden wildlife
also gives you an opportunity to watch more
closely, and understand the changes and
differences across seasons, as well as interesting
behaviours which you may, of course, have
A MESSAGE FROM THE BTO...
We are asking people to join our community of
more than 11,000 Garden BirdWatchers, and
send in simple weekly lists of the birds in your
garden. We are interested in all garden types,
from small to large, from urban to rural. By
recording on a weekly basis we can see
patterns of garden use and how it changes
depending on the time of year.
For example, we see a clear dip in Blackbird
sightings in the late summer and early autumn.
This is a time when they are most secretive,
while going through moult, and there is also a
lot of available food in the wider countryside.
The time that you spend doing the survey is
up to you, and it can fit into your schedule. You
might wish to record all the species you see
throughout the week, or you might wish to
dedicate a set time every Saturday morning.
Whatever time you can give is fine, but all we
ask is that you are consistent from week to week.
Many Garden BirdWatchers also want to record
other wildlife and there is an option to record
butterflies, dragonflies, bumblebees and
mammals. You can send us your counts on paper
forms, or on our simple online system.
You can get involved by signing up online at
bto.org/gbw or by contacting us via email
(firstname.lastname@example.org), or phone (01842 750050).
The administration is supported by
participants through a yearly subscription of
£17, and for this you receive a free 'Garden Birds
and other wildlife' book which provides a
fantastic handbook for a garden birdwatcher,
and quarterly magazines, updating you on the
progress and results of the survey.
So, you've done the hard work, and now
you want to sit back and enjoy watching
your garden birds with a cup of coffee and
a biscuit or two. Bird & Wild coffee means
that you can enjoy your break while actually
helping bird conservation.
The company is on a mission to help
protect migrating birds and support the
RSPB, while giving you a great tasting
Fairtrade Organic coffee.
For every bag of Bird & Wild sold, you
are helping the RSPB, the Smithsonian
Migratory Bird Centre and the
Fairtrade Foundation. Bird & Wild only
roasts seasonal coffee certified as Bird
Friendly and Shade-Grown by the
Smithsonian Migratory Bird Centre and
contributes to support their research and
Working in partnership with the RSPB,
6% of sales is donated to the RSPB to help
give nature a home, as well as being
Certified Fairtrade and Organic.
The coffees are naturally grown under
the rainforest canopy, a haven for birds and
other wildlife and ideal conditions for
nurturing deliciously different beans with a
taste of the wild.
Under the shade of tropical highland
rainforests, coffee is allowed to grow slowly
in wild conditions to develop complex,
distinctive and smooth flavours, on forest
farms that provide a haven to threatened
migratory birds, insects and other wildlife.
For more details, visit birdandwild.co.uk
Splash out on your garden
We can't repeat too many times just how
important water is in any wildlife-friendly
garden. At the very least, birds need
somewhere safe to drink fresh water, every bit
as much as they need the seeds, suet and fat
balls that you put out on your feeders, but
somewhere to bathe, and best of all a pond
that will increase your insect-life, are also great
ways of helping the birds and other wildlife.
Water Gardening Direct is a specialist in all
types of water features for gardens of all sizes,
offering a range of solar-powered birdbath
CATWatch, the Ultrasonic cat deterrent, is the
only cat deterrent scientifically tested and
approved by the RSPB.
When the CATWatch unit is triggered, it
emits ultrasonic bursts which cause the cat to
retreat. The longer it is in place, the more
effective it is, so if you want a humane way of
keeping cats away from your birds, this is it.
Inaudible to humans and harmless to all
species, it operates day and night, and can cover
an area of around 125 sq m using a single 9v
battery, or a mains supply. There's a two year
warranty and a 90-day money-back guarantee,
and for every one sold, Concept Research will
make a contribution to the RSPB.
CATWatch can be moved and positioned at
ground level in seconds or secured at the base of
walls, fences and
trees. For more
fountains, among other products. It also stocks
a range of feeders and bird foods, too, so you
can get everything you need to keep your
garden birds happy.
From Bird Watching's next issue, Water
Gardening Direct will sponsor our new regular
garden pages, so look out for ideas on how to
add water features to your garden that will
actively help increase its biodiversity and value
for all sorts of wildlife.
For further details on its products, visit the
website at watergardeningdirect.com
22 Create the Perfect Bird Garden 2018
FP_BIRDSPA4_Birdwatchiid3398646.pdf 06.03.2018 11:47
NATURE ON YOUR DOORSTEP.
Born in the UK
Available at all good camera and nature shops, for your nearest stockist visit the website.