The Bird Garden by Season

The Bird Garden by Season
Some birds are arriving in the bird garden, others have been here in Britain over winter, all are preparing for courtship then to mate, nest and raise chicks.

The bird garden - Robin on a fence


Birds nesting boxes and bird feeders should be in place. Nest boxes, feeders and bird baths or water supply should be routinely checked as serviceable and repaired if need be. Feeders and baths should be regularly stocked and cleaned. Bird feeding is important because nutritious food is still scarce until shrubs and trees bear fruit. This is a busy and exhausting time for adult birds building and preparing nests and later tending their nests and young.

Wild garden birds which overwintered locally may be leaving for their own breeding grounds at this time.


Hungry Chicks

Hungry Chicks

Young birds are hatching and hungry.
Adult birds are constantly looking for food for their chicks. Check bird feeders and water daily and re-stock as required. Those parent birds are considerably helped by nutritious food on birdtables and feeders. Ensure a good, clean and continuous supply of water in these hot summer days.

Predators (Sparrowhawks, Kestrels and members of the Crow family) will be looking for eggs, baby birds and adult birds at the bird tables and feeders. Cats will be in your garden hunting also.

You may see the young fledglings in your garden flowers and shrubs squeaking away and you should spot more adult females now they are not required to sit on the nest.

Wild fruits and nuts are readily available now and birds will take full advantage of the harvest before winter arrives.

Chaffinch on a branch


Although food is abundant in autumn still maintain food on the tables and in feeders, birds will be aware of the approaching winter and will feed accordingly. Keep fresh water in the bird baths.

Clean and maintain the bird nesting boxes now the young have left. Get the boxes ready for next Spring. Clean and maintain the bird feeders and tables while demand is reduced.

The abundance of natural food may mean you see fewer birds in your garden during autumn.

Adequate food in winter is absolutely essential to bird survival. Maintain a good supply of extra nutritious food this season. Most natural sources of food will be exhausted now. This is a good time for suet cakes and dried fruit. Dried meal worms, from pet suppliers can also be a welcome addition for hungry birds.

Jay on a snow covered tree

Jay in Snow

Check bird feeders, tables and baths for icing once or twice a day.
Break ice and packed snow off the bird tables and feeders.
Break and thaw frozen bird baths with boiling water.

Look out for passing species of wild garden birds breaking their journeys at the bird garden for food, water and rest. If migrant birds have you on their flight plan make sure you cater for the drop-in trade!