Garden Birds in Spring: Things to Look out For
In spring, our gardens begin to burst with life after the cold winter months. Early flowering plants bring a splash of colour. There’s frogspawn in the ponds. And the occasional bumblebee can be spotted buzzing around on a hunt for nectar.
There’s also plenty happening in the bird world. Here are a few spring bird events to look out for as the season approaches:
The increase in birdsong is a sure fire sign that spring is on its way. Birds sing to mark out their territory and attract a mate. And their songs are as distinct as they are beautiful. Brush up on your birdsong to identify the species you have in your garden. Or just sit back and enjoy your morning cuppa whilst you listen to their magnificent musical performance.
The busy task of nest building usually begins in mid to late spring. But some early birds try to beat the rush, managing to build a nest, mate, lay and hatch their eggs, all by the end of March. Robins, blackbirds and collared doves are all species that breed early in the year and are able to produce more young in a season as a result.
As the UK weather warms up, migrant birds return from their stay in warmer climes. Chiffchaffs are usually one of the first, often returning in March. Swallows, house martins and cuckoos arrive in April. And swifts usually complete their journey home by early May.
Winter Species Departing
A number of migrating species also leave the UK in spring. Blackcaps can be seen in gardens all year round. However, you’re most likely to spot one in winter because part of the population leave when the weather gets warmer. Winter thrushes and finches will also head off in search of colder conditions as spring approaches.
More Birds at Garden Feeders
The breeding season requires a lot of energy. So birds are keen to eat at every opportunity and it’s a great idea to lend them a helping hand. Seeds and nuts are the perfect food for birds at this time. However, only ever provide unsalted nuts and put any whole nuts in a mesh feeder. That way they can’t be fed whole to baby birds who may choke on them.
Spring is a busy and exciting time for our garden birds. Provide food and water for any garden visitors and you’ll get to see all of the action up close.
- Nikki Boxwild