What you need to know about the Mating Season for birds

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What you need to know about the Mating Season for birds

Winter is drawing to a close and as spring approaches you will gradually start to see more and more activity in your garden as birds begin preparations for their mating season.  This is an interesting and exciting time of the year for your garden birds so we have created this helpful infographic to help you understand what you are seeing!

Our infographic explains what you will see happening, roughly when you can expect to see developments and how you can help along the way!  If you have children this is an ideal way of getting them involved and engaged with your garden wildlife.  You both can keep a look out for the main stages as events unfold.

What you can expect to see in your garden this spring

The flurry of activity you will catch glimpses of is a carefully planned process that starts around Valentine’s Day.  

This is when birds will start to look for a partner and once they have found a mate they both start to stock up on food for energy so that they have reserves to draw on for the busy season ahead.  

Whilst this is happening they also scout out locations for a nesting site; having a nesting box in your garden will provide much needed shelter from harsh weather and predators.  With trees and hedgerows being lost each year this assistance is becoming essential for some species such as sparrows, Blue Tits and Robins.

Once the couple have settled on a nesting site, the female will begin to lay eggs, usually one a day at around dawn.  The eggs are referred to as her “clutch”.

The female incubates her clutch after laying the last egg and the male helps to defend her and the eggs, searches out and brings her food.  

After 16-22 days the eggs start to hatch and the chicks appear!  The parents now have to feed all of the new hungry mouths, so you can help them by providing a good quality seed mix.

After around 2-4 weeks the chicks have become fledglings and are ready to attempt their first flight.  As they are learning this flight will only be a short distance usually to the nearest perch.

When they have first grown accustomed to flying the young birds are shown where to find food by their parents, if you provide them a continuous source such as seed mixes and mealworms this will help the growing fledglings and encourage them to return.

Nesting times vary but usually by October the last of the young will have left the nest.  This is the only point at which you should touch your nest box, by cleaning it out ready for next year’s brood! 

Get involved and tell us what you think!

We hoped this helped you to understand what is happening, please feel free to share this with you friends and family and let us know what you see happening in your garden on our facebook or twitter pages!