Much of our time over the last week has been spent advising people who have come across young birds that have got into trouble, here are a few of the regular problems being encountered!
The reflection of the sky or garden in windows can fool many birds into thinking they can fly straight through, often with disastrous consequences. At this time of year when there are many juveniles around making their first flights in the big wide world, window strikes seem to be a regular occurence. The young birds just don't have the knowledge yet and often pay the price. If this has happened to you or you have large windows that could pose a risk, it would be fantastic if you could fit some transfers on the outside surface of the window to alert birds to the solid surface, hopefully preventing further collisions in the future. Those with a bit of a creative streak may fancy making their own window stickers from sticky back plastic however you can by window transfers from our online shop here. Remember, for this to be effective the stickers must go on the outside!
Cats and birds
We have been speaking with a number of concerned cat owners recently who are torn between giving their much loved pets fresh air and trying to prevent them from harming wildlife, especially young birds. At this time of year, many fledglings are just leaving the nest and spending most of their time on or near to the ground as they learn to forage, finish growing their feathers and develop the strength in their wings to fly. Fledglings are very vulnerable to cat predation, especially common garden birds like robins, wrens, dunnocks, house sparrows, blackbirds and song thrushes to name but a few. Our advice to any cat owners at this time of year when they know young birds could be about is to keep your cat in as much as possible and if it is outside, keep it under supervision. It is vital to keep the cat in around the hours either side of dawn and dusk as this is when cats can do most of the damage. For more information about what you can do as a cat owner or if you want to find ways to prevent cats getting into your garden have a look here.
To cut or not to cut?
Many hedges are looking lush and green as it is now mid growing season. This can tempt many people to get the strimmers out with a view to getting the hedges 'neat and tidy'. However, please spare a thought for the hedge nesting birds that are still trying to raise their families in the hedges, many people who have been a bit keen in recent weeks have found this out after the damage has been done, which can be upsetting for the person as well as the birds. Blackbirds, song thrushes, robins, wrens, dunnocks and finches are all capable of breeding two or three times a year and June, July and August are often good months for them to attempt to raise a final brood as the thick and dense foliage gives them lots of cover and also lots of insect food. Please keep the power tools away for at least a few more months and if you have to trim straggly bits, do so with secateurs after making sure no birds are nesting nearby. We have some tips on wildlife friendly management of garden hedges here and farm hedges here.
If you do have breeding birds in your garden, please record these via the Birdtrack website here.