Is your garden ‘bird ready’ for spring?

Spring meadow with white flowers and grass. Sunshine rays bursting through foliage at the top of the picture.

March is just around the corner and the days are getting longer. We have had a glimpse of the warm sun this week at Giddy Gate Farm, so much so the great tits were busily looking in every nook and cranny in search of a suitable place to make a nest and raise a brood.

The garden is beginning to come to life again, daffodils have pushed up above ground and are getting ready to put on a show later in the season. It might just be time for us to think about preparing the garden or back yard for the spring. 

How can we welcome birds and wildlife into our gardens and encourage them to find that safe space to visit, feed and even raise their young?

Read on for our tips on how to get your outside space ‘bird’ ready for spring.

 

1. Keep on Feeding!

great-tit-2

At the end of winter our garden birds, believe it or not are pretty vulnerable. Months of cold weather and hunting for food may have taken its toll and now they must leap into action to defend territories, court mates, hunt out potential nesting sites and begin building.

Supplementary feeding in your garden is now just as important to wild birds as in the winter. A lot of the invertebrates that little birds will have been feeding on through the winter will now have been discovered and eaten and there will be few berries and seeds left to hoover up from nearby plants.

Give tables and feeders a good clean, check for any that may need replacing after perhaps taking a battering in the winter weather. 

Continue to offer a selection of foods including seeds, seed mixes and suet on tables or/and in bird feeders will provide nutrition quickly and easily for birds whilst they are busy in the spring.

2. Clean water source

Blackbird splashing in a bird bathe

Image; Helga Kattinger Pixabay

Water is essential for all wildlife. Birds need a place to drink and love a place to bathe and a water feature  will provide both of these . Running water is the best to keep water fresh. Any bird bath and/or water drinker that you can fit into your outside space will benefit birds and wildlife alike.

Even thinking about providing a small pond will attract birds and other wildlife as the weather warms up,  due to the water and the insects and potential food source it can provide.

3. Planting for wildlife

Brown meadow butterfly feeding from scabious flower

Image by: Pezibear, Pixabay

It is still too early to sow seeds outside, this means there is still time to think about providing an area of flowers to attract pollinators and other wildlife. These areas look beautiful, birds will be attracted by the pollinators and may even use some as material for nest building.

Even a pot or a tub with some cornflowers, scabious or nasturtiums will bring some colour and a lift to the garden later in the season.

Plan ahead, think about introducing plants which berry or have bright flowers loved by insects this summer. Birds will love the extra shelter and food that these plants will bring

4. Shelter and nest boxes

Pair of great tits at woodcrete nest box. one on roof one exiting

It is a bit late to put up nest boxes at this time, however tits may still be deciding where to make there home until February through March. They were investigating every little hole on the outside of our brick barns here at Giddy Gate Farm yesterday. We have nest boxes for them, but they often choose a nook in the side of a farm building to raise their brood.

You may still have time to put up nest boxes for tits this year. Even if no one chooses it this time, next year it will be gratefully received.

Definitely have a look at any existing nest boxes you may have and check they are not in disrepair. Make a note which ones to replace next winter in preparation for the coming breeding season. Have a read of our guide on choosing nest boxes.

 

With a little thought your outside space could literally be awash with colour and  buzzing with birds and wildlife this spring and then into the summer. 

We would love to see your spring garden pictures on facebook. How you are preparing to help your garden birds this spring after a long cold winter?