Spring is an exciting time of year for birds. As the days get lighter, birds across Britain start to get ready for the breeding season – which means they’ll need a little bit of extra help from us to make sure they have all the resources they need to raise their chicks. But what can you do to help care for birds in spring?
Put up a nest box
With the destruction of natural habitats like hedgerows, suitable nesting places are scarce at the start of the breeding season. One of the best ways that you can help care for your garden birds is to put up a nesting box in your garden.
Springtime is when your nest box will be busiest; there’s no need to kit it out with nesting materials, as birds will move this in themselves, however you could leave nesting materials nearby in sheltered spots so they can help themselves as and when they need it.
Not sure where to put it or how to install a nest box? We’ve got you covered.
Feed the birds
Similar to the declining natural nesting places, food sources may be scarce during this key period in the garden birds’ lives. The ground may be too hard to get to those delicious insects for one thing – so the birds will be grateful for whatever helping hand you can give them. If you’ve already been feeding birds through the winter, keep on doing so, as they will already trust you as a source of food.
There’s a variety of seed mixes to choose from, but high energy things like suet and fat balls are the ideal choice to give your garden birds the boost they need. While things like aflatoxin tested peanuts are a good choice because of their high oil content, remember to always offer them in a mesh feeder. Smaller birds and chicks can choke on the whole nut, so if you offer it from a mesh peanut feeder it forces the birds to peck off smaller chunks.
Mealworms are a good choice, too. Soak them in water overnight to offer a real treat to the birds, or you could try crushing them up so small birds can enjoy them too.
Install a bird bath
If you have birds nesting in your garden it’s a good idea to make sure a source of water is also on offer. This will mean that the garden birds won’t have to travel further from their young, potentially leaving them vulnerable to predators.
A bird bath will not only be a wonderful focal point for your garden, but it will also offer the birds a wonderful source of water to bathe in. A water tray will be a welcome addition for garden birds to drink. Remember to ensure that the water is nice and clean so as to prevent the spread of disease; you may need to keep it topped up during warmer weather, too.
Have you got any more tips for your fellow bird watchers on how to care for birds this spring? Let us know over on our Facebook page!
Lead image: JazzLove via Getty Images.