Saturday, 2 March 2013

Still searching for Spring...

Well finally it is looking as though Spring temperatures might arrive this week, so until I can get out and get on with some gardening, here's some birds who have been visiting the garden this winter ~ 

Long-tailed Tits ( Aegithalos caudatus)
To encourage long-tailed tits try planting for an insect and butterfly/moth rich habitat. Plenty of roses, honeysuckle, willow and herbs. They like high food sources and so plenty of good scrubby cover and trees.

Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Love the Latin name of this little bird, which means a reclusive, cave dweller. They are insect and spider eaters so low ground cover perennials to establish a good hiding and foraging habitat and nesting boxes/old teapots hidden in ivy clad walls are an incentive to stay in the garden. 

Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus)
To encourage blue tits try shrubs and trees for berries, insects and spiders like ivy and buddleja. They love high energy bird food but, like the long-tailed tits, it needs to be high and out of the way of predators.

Thrush (Turdus philomelos)
These shy birds love snails. Slugs and snails and insects. And berries. But mainly snails, which is probably not what any gardener wants to hear. You don't need to encourage slugs and snails but just stop killing them.  As organic pest controls go, thrushes and blackbirds have the added benefit of a beautiful song. 

Green Woodpecker (Picus viridus)
This is a real specialist feeder. They love ground feeding on ants and prefer woodland or forest nearby to your garden and grassy spaces with established ant colonies to dig into. My tip to keep ants out of the house and in the garden for the woodpeckers is to place a small container (I use an old jam jar) with some jam in it near the path they use to get into the house once they have woken up in Spring . Make sure it is secured and not a danger to you or your pets/children/wildlife. The ants will prefer it to the long trek into the house and just keep it topped up every now and then with a bit of jam. 

Organic gardening, less tidy gardening, more tolerance of weeds and seedheads and ground cover plants as well as mulches. Longer lawns, extended flowering season from annuals and herbs, single flowering plants as well more exotic double blooms, berries and native tree species.  All these things help to make a rich habitat for birds and make overwintering in our garden easier for them. 

For information on your garden birds try ~



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