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Spring comes early for nesting birds


7th January 2013

Last Updated: 21st September 2020

It’s only the first first week of January but the birds already know spring is just round the corner. Never mind the weather, we have plenty of snow and frosts to come I’m sure, but the days are getting longer. This is the true harbinger.

Despite frosty mornings, bare trees and little natural food, all the birds are busy preening and singing, getting in the dress rehearsals in preparation for the full showing of the Dawn Chorus that is due to start any day now. In my garden, feathers are becoming brighter and so many songs from blue and great tits, thrushes (a favourite of mine), blackbirds, dunnocks, sparrows and more, which all cheer me up no end.
Far more importantly, this also means males are already setting out their territories and this will include the potential nest sites within these areas. Therefore if anyone is intending to put up a new nest box this year, do it now! If you want to make your nest box irresistible to the local birds, ensure you have the perfect bird nesting materials. As I’ve previously stated, I moved house this year and spent the weekend putting up nest boxes on the house and around the garden, in anticipation of the birds identifying potential nest sites long before they even identify a mate.

Having said that, we also have our early early adopters, the robins and blackbirds, who in a mild winter have been known to start nest building in the first few weeks of a New Year. All in all, for the best chances of having a nest box being adopted in its first year, it needs to be erected well before the end of January. That’s the plan for my new garden at any rate!

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