This week, Kennedy Wild Bird Food share their thoughts on the arrival of spring, and how March can often be a deceptive month, with its spells of warmer weather.
In this guest blog post, they answer the question “Are garden birds nesting too early this year?” and suggest the best ways to help our garden visitors to feed over the next few weeks…
Nesting garden birds
With the mild weather and everyone thinking about spring, it begs the question, are the wild birds nesting early this year?
There is such a thing as an official nesting season, this is defined in the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 as 1st March to 31st July inclusive.
The reason for this legislation is to protect the wildlife and bird life whilst they are nesting or roosting.
Although birds do start prior to and continue beyond these dates, it is worth knowing, as you will see a lot of hedge cutting and laying during February, but it is illegal for farmers to continue to do this if it disturbs nests, beyond 1st March.
There is quite a lot of evidence to suggest the wild birds in your garden are starting to make their first nest and seek the partner to share it with, although this is not particularly early for some (Blackbirds begin in early February normally) Chaffinch, Great Tit and Nuthatch all start to pair up in February.
Many other species are starting to fight for territory now and so you will see them squabbling and tussling with each other; gathering nesting material — like twigs, moss, wool etc. — and placing it in a likely spot for a nest.
Don’t worry if the nests you see are not occupied, these first attempts at nest-building are usually just for practice or to entice a prospective mate to share a nest.
Are the birds nesting early this year?
To answer the question about early nesting season this year, I do not think it is particularly early.
It may be a few days or so, but each year is different and although some people think it is Spring already, I prefer to wait another couple of weeks before declaring winter finished.
In our garden we have Snowdrops in full flower and Daffodils just starting to show yellow, but it is still possible for a late cold spell and so we do recommend that you continue with your Winter feeding regime until mid March.
The garden birds still need a boost to maintain winter energy levels and the onset of the breeding season means they will be using lots more energy building nests and showing off to each other.
Top feeding tips from Kennedy Wild Bird Food
If you are thinking of ordering more wild bird food in the next few weeks, we highly recommend our Suet special blend for the month of March.
Our many and varied mixes and blends are designed to provide all the garden birds requirements for the spring and summer months — with many containing fruit and suet for nutrition and energy.
In conclusion, it is a lovely surprise to see an early Spring but be aware of a late cold spell and the effects that may have on your garden wildlife, let nature take its course and enjoy the show!
WIN! A bundle of Kennedy Wild Bird Food worth £50!
TO ENTER: If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning ALL of the Kennedy Wild Bird Food’s seed bags pictured above, PLUS a bird feeder to get you started on your bird watching journey — simply answer the question: What is your favourite bird to see in the spring time?
Leave your answer in the comments below by 30th March 2020. One lucky winner will be chosen to win this prize bundle, and notified on 31st March 2020. Good luck!
About the Author
Kennedy Wild Bird Food are a family run wild bird food and wild bird seed supplier based in rural Lincolnshire. They supply only the finest quality products.
Choose from their vast range of premium products and nutritious wild bird feed.