This is Jenny with our latest Wild Bunch Column.
As we move into spring with thoughts of spending more time outside in nature you might become aware of more birds singing. The birds are trying to establish their territories and find a potential mate so it’s a great time to put up bird nesting boxes in suitable places in your outdoor spaces. If you fancy a project, our free Wild Bunch booklet is available to collect at our regular gatherings, or from the Town Hall and includes easy DIY bird box building instructions. If you don’t feel like building a box yourself there are plenty of options of ready-made boxes available in garden centres and online.
Birds need a safe space to live and access to natural food nearby to raise their young. They need plenty of invertebrates to forage without leaving the nest for too long, so placing the boxes in safe places near to food supply is essential.
Different bird species require different nest boxes or different sized entrances so that they and their young can be safe from predators and shelter from the weather. The Wild Bunch can advise you on nest box locations or have a look at the RSPB website for this information. Tits need an entrance that is just big enough for them to squeeze through, this means that nothing larger can reach the vulnerable chicks. Whereas robins prefer an open fronted box and swifts require a nest box that is high up with depth and they like to nest together so placing a few together is ideal.
The winter bird migrants are leaving our shores at this time of year. Ducks, Geese and Waders are heading north and west as days here lengthen and it gets warmer. Soon new migrants will be on their way. The handsome grey heron will be in their nesting sites now, their nests are called a heronry, and they are the first birds to breed in the UK. It’s an exciting time of year in the bird world I hope you get to enjoy this.
If you would like to learn more about wildlife friendly gardening, or share your love for birds and wildlife why not join us at our friendly gatherings? We meet every third Thursday of the month, 1.30pm – 2.30pm at Frome Town Hall (with an option to join online via Zoom).
Our next meeting is on 16th March, and we will focus on plants for pollinators. For more information and to book your free space, please visit the Wild Bunch page. Hope to see you there!