Spring is in the air: the days are getting longer, the sun is warming the soil, lots of trees have promising little green buds and the birds are busy foraging around for materials to build their nests.
As a florist and forager myself, I know how important it is to find just the right piece to bring an arrangement or a bouquet to life. In this way, birds will tirelessly forage for the perfect pieces of nesting material, working hard to find the ideal twig or length of dried grass, a piece of sheep’s wool clinging to a fence or a crinkly dried leaf flexible enough to weave into shape to create their nest.
Perhaps the most important part of nest-building in the countryside is finding a safe location that offers plenty of cover from predators as well as access to enough food, so a nearby hedgerow will definitely be the first choice for most birds — did you know that over 30 species of British birds nest in hedgerows?
Hedgerows with grasses and wildflowers growing up underneath help hide nests and create such a diverse habitat, supporting all sorts of wildlife throughout the year.
If you have been lucky enough to get a closer look at a bird’s nest, you will have probably marvelled at the amazing construction; it is hard to believe that a little bird can create all this without fingers and hands to manipulate the materials into place! It is usually a female bird who makes the nest, by weaving and pushing materials into place with her beak and shaping with her chest, then securing the pieces with a ‘glue’ of either her own salvia or mud and finer grasses. So clever!
I was lucky enough to watch and photograph our resident garden blackbirds building their nest and successfully raising two broods of four chicks last year. So here are a couple of photos of their beautiful nest for you to enjoy… in fact one photo has four baby chicks tucked inside the nest!
I hope you manage to get out for a walk to enjoy the first signs of Spring along our hedgerows and remember to keep an eye open for the busy birds, flitting to and fro with mouthfuls of building materials to create their perfect ‘des-res’!
Garden Gate Flowers