It is not only us humans getting more active in the garden in spring. This is the season when our beloved garden birds enter their key breeding period. We offer tips to help and support birds in the spring with the help of our friends at Wildlife World.

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Spring is a crucial time of year for our garden birds. As the key breeding period begins, they look for a place to nest and raise their chicks. Increasing urbanisation means there is a lack of natural spaces for birds to nest in.

One simple way we can help is by putting up nest boxes, particularly if you do not have large, old trees in the garden that would be one of the usual key nesting sites.

Choosing a Nest Box

Different bird species favour different types of nest boxes, so having more than one will increase the chances of encouraging a variety of birds. The main types of nest boxes are either open-fronted or hole-based.

Open-Fronted Nest Boxes

Open-fronted nest boxes are preferred by robins, wagtails and wrens. They should be positioned well into vegetation – a fork in a tree or a spot on an ivy-covered tree or fence is ideal.

Hole-Fronted Nest Boxes

The hole-fronted nest box is the most common other type of nest box. A wide range of bird species, including the various tits and sparrows, use these. The birds use hole-fronted nest boxes as a direct, clean flight route into the nest box. These shouldn’t be nestled into vegetation and should be positioned fairly high off the ground – around 2 to 3.5 metres high is ideal. Because these nest boxes are a little more exposed to the elements, they must be secured in place and angled slightly downwards or forwards so any rainwater will naturally fall away, allowing the birds to stay as dry as possible.

Once you have birds in your nest boxes, it is really important not to disturb them. If you want to get a close-up, you could set up a camera nest box and watch the baby birds from your living room – they are bound to become your new favourite spring programme!

Nest Box Top Tips

1. Always ensure your nest box is well secured to the tree, fence or building so there is no risk of it falling off in bad weather conditions.

2. Place open-fronted nest boxes into vegetation, but site hole-fronted nest boxes with a clear, direct route for birds to fly in and higher off the ground.

3. Angle nest boxes very slightly downward (especially hole-fronted ones) to protect them from the rain.

4. If possible, position nest boxes so they face between north and east, allowing them to catch the first rays of sunlight (it is, after all, the early bird that catches the worm).

5. Don’t put any of your own material into the nest box; birds will gather it themselves. You could leave some wool or straw in your garden for the birds to use if they so wish.

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Should You Continue to Feed Birds in Spring

We all love feeding birds; it is estimated that half of UK households do so. Putting out a variety of feeds that are tailored to the needs of the season should ensure the birds keep coming back for more.

In spring, high-protein food sources are particularly beneficial. The extra protein supports birds through the breeding season and helps returning migratory birds replenish the tens of thousands of calories used during their journey.

What Do Birds Eat in Spring?

Sunflower seeds are a perfect food source for spring and are enjoyed by a wide variety of birds, including finches and tits. Place them in a seed feeder, or sprinkle on your bird table or ground feeder.

Mealworms or calciworms, are also beneficial in the spring. Calciworms, which are similar to dried mealworms but have more nutritional value, have only recently become available. They are high in insectivorous proteins as well as being an excellent source of calcium. These aid in increasing bone and feather strength and egg production.

When Do Birds Lay Eggs in Spring

A lot of birds will welcome in the spring by laying their eggs as early as possible. They use the warmer months to help support their young in this manner. There are a lot of considerations for birds when it comes to laying eggs. Their health, how much food is available, and whether the climate is suitable are all important factors. Spring is usually a brilliant time for nesting materials to be located as well. Birds will use the debris of old twigs, leaves, and moss that has fallen in the winter months to build a safe environment to look after their eggs. 

Discover a range of products that will help you to support the birds in your garden.

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