Dry spells, forecast for the following 9 days throughout the UK, might be stopping returning migratory birds from constructing their houses, however fortunately mud pies maintain the reply! Now is the time that spring migratory birds are returning to the UK, with iconic species comparable to swallows, home martins and swifts needing your assist. With many now endangered, fortunately there are easy methods you may assist them from your personal backyard – together with leaving out mud for home martins to construct nest cups with – of which the RSPB are sharing their high 5 this spring.
With the Met Office predicting a heatwave for the following 9 days throughout the nation, now’s the time to assist the 1000’s of migratory birds presently returning to their houses right here within the UK. The RSPB explains what to look – and hear – out for, and the way we may also help them after their epic journeys.
With chook breeding season now nicely underway, these birds are busy discovering mates, constructing nests and mentioning broods, and there’s a number of ‘new faces’ in our gardens, woodlands, countryside and alongside our coastlines.
Many of those returning migratory birds have flown a whole bunch, usually 1000’s, of miles from wintering grounds in additional southerly, hotter international locations. These embody really iconic species comparable to home martins and swifts – however sadly, these birds have seen sharp declines of their numbers during the last 20 years – in some circumstances, by greater than 50%.
House Martin, copyright Szymon Bartosz, from the surfbirds galleries
Affected by modifications in local weather, lack of nesting websites and discount in meals provides, swifts and home martins having jumped from the inexperienced to crimson listing of conservation concern in 2021. As these icons of the skies return to UK shores, right here’s the highest 5 issues you are able to do to assist migratory birds from residence:
1. Put up nest bins or cups – swifts and home martins’ new standing sadly means they’re in peril of extinction. They want appropriate locations to nest after they come again to the UK to breed and so placing up a nest field match for these birds can actually assist.
2. Leave out a muddy puddle – as our days get hotter and the bottom hardens, much less mud is out there for home martins to make use of to construct their very own mud cup nests. A easy means to assist is leaving out a dish of soil and water blended collectively – your very personal muddy puddle – for these birds to utilize whereas we benefit from the sunshine.
3. Plant to draw bugs – having an insect-friendly garden, planters and even balcony field will assist a spread of pollinators and supply much-needed meals for birds.
4. Put away the pesticide – utilizing chemical substances to kill dandelions and aphids additionally impacts on an entire vary of bugs in our gardens. In time, this impacts the very stuff you had been making an attempt to guard – crops, soil and wildlife – for instance decreasing the obtainable meals for migratory birds.
5. Watch your step when out and about – numerous individuals don’t realise many birds nest on the bottom. Little terns for instance nest on shingle seashores, so placing canine on leads and watching the place you stroll may also help to scale back the chance of disturbing their nests.
As the RSPB’s Charlotte Ambrose shares: “Now is as good a time as ever to help the wildlife near you. Whether from your garden, balcony, or local greenspace, taking a few simple steps to give the nature on your doorstep a helping hand this spring can really give birds such as swifts, swallows and house martins the boost they need as they grace our skies once more.”
For extra methods to assist nature this spring, together with extra easy concepts no matter your out of doors house, go to rspb.org.uk/yourdoorstep.