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.
71 thoughts on “Feeding the birds in your garden: Kennedy Wild Bird Food guest post & prize giveaway”
I love watching the Robin’s, but I have also been amazed over the last week to see Blue Tits collecting moss from the lawn for nesting material, and also two Eurasian Blackcaps visiting, which I have never seen in my garden before. I just love feeding the birds and then waiting to see what wildlife visitors I have.
I love to see the Blue Tits and Great Tits dashing around the garden gathering food and nesting material, but in the morning its the Blackbird song I love to wake up to.
My favourite bird in the spring time is the blackbird. I love their bird song.
Long tailed tits
Blue tits. They are so tiny and beautiful colours. They are also fascinating to watch how hard they work to feed themselves and their babies.
I love seeing little blue tits being ruffled by the wind.
My favourite birds are woodpeckers
It would have to be the robin. Such a beautiful song & they always make me smile. Against the bright blue background of a sunny Spring day, in amongst some blossom or daffodils, nothing could be more cheering.
The blackbird is my favourite in springtime. We have a pair in the garden this year and it looks like they may nest.
But they are my favourite because of the song. They sound so cheerful.
My favourite bird that I see in spring is the blackbirds who ive been watching nest building.
My favourite bird is the Goldfinch. I look for the brown markings on their chests. Often they look like they are wearing a bikini
I’m always pleased to see bullfinches in Spring even though they eat the buds on the apple trees
Love to see all the birds in my garden My favourites are the blue tits who seem to be such amazing little acrobats and this week two goldfinches who seem to be investigating possible nesting sites Great entertainment !
My favourite bird in my garden is the robin and I’m absolutely over the moon to see a pair nesting at the moment 👍
Love seeing all birds in our garden in spring time but love to hear the blackbird singing x
My favourite bird to see in the spring is the sparrow 😍 Last year we had 2 lots of fluffly little fledglings in our garden with their flappy little wings and I just love them!
Love seeing blue tits in my garden as they’re not very common.
I was doing this before people suggested watching birds to counteract boredom. I love my little visitors as I have poor health and they always bring me joy, although sometimes the squabbling starlings bring me headaches 😂 Even on my bad days I can watch them or listen to them sing. I wish I had a wren because they are my favourite! When I stayed with friends in Scotland a wren would perch on my windowsill and sing me awake every morning! It was a dear little thing.
Blackbirds,fun, friendly and demanding but when they sing it brightens up my day
I would say blackbirds which are frequent visitors to our small town garden. Last year a pair built a nest and reared young which was wonderful to witness. They have such a beautiful song and I love to see them feeding in our garden
My favourite bird is the robin always curious
We live in rural Cheshire and get a great deal of pleasure from feeding the garden birds and visiting wildlife. It is very hard to pick a favourite bird, but I would say the pheasant! We have a male and four females visiting daily, they are so funny to watch, and I often find the cock pheasant waiting for his breakfast 😊
My favourite in my garden is the long tailed tit
I love the robin all through the year, but in the spring when I start gardening they come so close look worms and grubs. They are cheeky little birds
Love birds love sitting outside watching them eat and looking for food. Bathing in the sun. They are always somthing to smile about and they keep tou feeling relaxed. Mine is the great tit beautiful colours but I do like the finch too
I love watching goldfinches. My parents house always has quite a few of them, so I be sure to put out finch seed and thistle for them. I also enjoy orioles, they have such fun songs to sing.
Love to see the Blackbirds, back in the garden, each spring.
The goldfinches when they come for their special seed.
I love the robin. When I was little I learnt a poem “When father takes his spade to dig, the robin comes along. He sits upon the grass close by and sings a little song.
Blackbird…i love their song, its a joy to hear
It’s a blackbird for me. I see one in a morning standing in an apex of a garage but I hear it’s song before I see it
love seeing the blue tits – they always look a cheerful bird
I have a lovely tree in full pink blossom just outside my house and it attracts a lot of bees and birds at the moment, my favourites are the little blue tits. I don’t know if it’s just me but blue tits seem smaller than they used to be.
Love to hear the blackbirds singing, but when the flocks of long tailed tits finally reappear they bring so much joy to the garden!
It would have to be the Robin! Their curious nature and personality always make them a joy to have in the garden. I particularly enjoy shaking some seed outside and then waiting for them to turn up, they’re always keeping an eye out!
The Goldfinch, such a pretty little bird with a beautiful song.
I absolutely love to see all the long tailed tits munching on the fat balls. Sometimes there are 8 of them at a time.
Hi Meryl, I’m so pleased to tell you that you were selected as the winner! Congratulations!! Please send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can organise your prize 🙂
I love to watch the changing behaviour of the birds in my garden in the spring. It’s always particularly exciting when the blue tits start showing an interest in the nest boxes 💚🐣💚
I love all the birds but particularly like to see a Starling. I love those birds. They make me smile.
When the second dunnock shows up in my garden I know it is spring so he/she is my favourite. Here’s hoping they breed successfully.
I love watching the long -tailed tits with their cute faces and the nuthatches .with their streamlined bodies They make me smile with their flying backwards and forward getting their nests ready .They make me dizzy some days .
Wren. Always busy & has to build more than one nest to show off to his prospective mate.
I was amazed last year to have Bullfinches in my garden, as a wildlife rescue, it’s lovely to see these beautiful birds free in the garden. ❤️
I can’t pick a favourite I love seeing and hearing all of the different birds 💚
It’s so hard to choose just one as I love them all, but as I don’t get many and when I do it brings so much joy, I would have to say the long tailed tit, just such cute faces!
My favourite bird in Springtime is the little Blue Tit because i put my long haired cats fur in a holder and they come and take it for their nests to shred it and they look like they have big ginger moustaches, really cute little birds.
Nothing like seeing and hearing the first Chiffchaff of Spring.
Goldcrests! Love to watch them hop around, so tiny!
I have recently started feeding birds in my garden. To my much delight I have had a visits from Blackbirds, Robins, Crows, Jays(first time ever to be seen in my garden and first time I’ve ever seen them in my life in person) pigeons and a very cute squirrel.
I would love to have all the beauties return everyday if I could. ❤️
My favorite bird to see – and hear- in the Springtime is the Robin…especially at dusk on a near-warm day, singing its heart out. Lifts my soul.
Even thou many people are annoyed by Common Grackles coming to their feeders, I adore them. Actually, they are not so common anymore. Their populations have declined dramatically over the years. When the grackles common in spring to my feeders, they bring friends with them such as Red-winged Blackbirds. It is always nice to see any wild bird species at my feeders. Just knowing they are still around. I feed birds to ensure they have some kind of food at a time when insect populations are in steep decline
To be honest I love seeing all the birds but blackbirds will always have a very special place in my heart. And this year, for the first time we had jays! I used to have a disabled jay I had taken in as a youngster, he passed away this time last year so its like he’s come back to us again in these wild ones <3
There are so many to choose from but it has to be the bullfinches – they tend to arrive as a pair, he supervises while she plucks up the courage to land on the bird table.
Love the goldfinches. Their little red faces and bright colours light up even the cloudiest and greatest of days!
I love seeing Pheasants in spring because it means that despite the odds they have survived the dreadful shooting season which runs from 1st October to 31st January and they have also made it though the hard winter. It’s just nice to know that they will at least have some life and a chance to enjoy a summer before it all starts again.
“What is favourite bird to see in the spring time?” ?? Not really a simple question! Is that ‘the’ favourite, ‘my’ favourite or some other favourite?
That would be YOUR favourite 🙂
Ah, right the, that would probably be a leaf warbler, say the Chiffchaff. Spring has arrived early!!
Feeding the birds brings so much pleasure as you never know what you will see. During the isolation period I have seen, Blue Tits, Robins, Great Tits, a Woodpecker. male Pheasant. female Pheasant, Blackbirds, Jays, Magpies and a Song Thrush.
Still waiting to see them for another month or so – but swifts! I used to work on a swift conservation project, and so these amazing urban-nesting birds hold a special place in my heart!
I love bluetits , they always sit in our trees and are incredibly cute!
We have a lot of blue tits at the moment but my favourite are robins, they have such a lot of character.
I love watching the blue tits, this year they are nesting in the bird box my 9 year old grandson made by himself from scratch. I’m very proud of it and excited that the birds love it too
Love to see robins darting about ,chasing each other away