You may have noticed over the last couple of months that there have not been as many wild birds attending your feeders, as there were at the first few months of the year. This is because the hot summer we have had has affected many of Britain’s countryside ecosystems. Many trees and bushes which would normally be bearing fruit act as a reliable source of high energy for a multitude of wild birds and small wild animals.
These supplies, however, have been exhausted weeks earlier than they would normally. Many of our favourite garden birds rely on worms and insects they find in the ground. Due to the drought, the ground has been too hard for them to penetrate, leaving the fruit as their only option to eat. It is not quite sure the effect this will have later in the year when birds will usually go for the fruit they have already eaten. So it is really important to keep feeding during this time of year. It is also very possible that the abnormally high temperatures will have affected many other animals we find in our gardens too.
Typically these berries and fruits that are used as a winter feed so when the colder weather comes later this year it will be as important as ever to provide high energy foods to replace the missing fruit in their diets. Any suet products or even raisins would compensate for the missing energy kick they usually get.
It is however not all bad news! You might have noticed an increase in the number of other animals in your gardens this summer, especially hedgehogs. This is really encouraging especially as numbers, on the whole, seem to be on the decline. If you want to encourage them out at night we recommend leaving some water in a little dish (be careful the sides aren’t too high for them to reach) and maybe a little food too if you are feeling generous. Have a look at our hedgehog page for ideas, they also love unsalted peanuts too!
Providing shelter for other wild animals such as hedgehogs and bats is also a great way to support your local nature through any wet or colder patches. Placing a hedgehog house in your garden can even create a potential hibernation site for any hedgehogs that are struggling to find a winter home later in the year.
So even though you may not currently be seeing the amount of birds you would expect at this time of year, providing food for the wildlife in your area will not be in vain. As soon as the temperature drops and the berries and fruits have already gone, so your garden will be alive with wild birds feasting on your offerings.