RSPB asks you to take nests into consideration this spring
The RSPB has called for people heading out into their gardens now that the weather is improving to be careful of nesting birds that may have made their nests in trees, hedges, shrubs and also in roofs.
Now that the long and arduous, and also in some cases lethal, winter has come to an end - hopefully - birds have begun pairing up with mates and making homes in order to raise their young.
However, due to the prolonged winter conditions that have caused spring to begin later than usual most garden birds in the UK are already up against it. This means that nest sites are at a premium due to a number of sites that are usually suitable being lifeless and providing no cover.
The RSPB’s head of Wildlife Enquiries, Val Osborne, said: “At this time of year there is normally is plenty of shrubbery for birds to make safe nests in and hide from predators, but the late start to spring has meant that many leaves are yet to come out.
“Instead of their usual spots, birds may opt to build homes in more unusual places as well as ivy and other evergreens, so gardeners should stay alert and be vigilant when pottering about this weekend. If you come across a nest, leave well alone – birds that are disturbed may decide to abandon their eggs or young for fear of the site not being safe.”
Those people out there who are lucky enough to have a garden that has begun to flourish are being encouraged by the RSPB to hold back on the hedge cutting in order to avoid destroying nests and baby birds.
Val added: “This is a crucial time for our feathered friends. They’ve already been through a lot – especially the migrants with their late arrival into the country and the terrible conditions they had to contend with – so we need to make sure we help them as much as we can through the breeding season.
“Leaving nests well alone, providing high-energy food and a good supply of water should do the trick.”
Another warning that the RSPB is offering to people is the probability that birds could be nesting in their roofs. Roofs can provide birds with luxurious nesting sites, including species like house sparrow and starlings.
“If you have birds in your roof then they leave them in peace and hold off on any repairs until the nest is no longer in use.” Continued Val.
“Usually no damage is caused by nesting birds, in fact the only way you’d know they were there is because of all the chattering and cheeping they do, but most people find that endearing.”
Picture: Leonora Enking