You may now be seeing juveniles in your garden, this is the fabulous result of attracting wild birds to your garden, there is nothing more rewarding than watching the adults introducing their young ones to the feed you offer them. For the chicks who have been lucky enough to survive to the fledgling stage, there is a tough time ahead making it through to adulthood. Here we look at the 3 most likely birds you will find nest in your garden:
Robins will generally have 2 broods per year, however only approximately 40% of them will survive through the 1st year of life, the good news is since 1976 we have seen a population increase of about 45%, the highest mortality rate for Robins is during harsh winters, with so many people now feeding the birds this is having a positive impact on one of our favourite garden visitors.
Blue Tits have one brood per year, to compensate, this is a large brood usually of 8 – 10 eggs, this is a tough time finding enough food for so many mouths, especially when caterpillars are scarce during wet and cold springs. The survival rate of the fledglings to adulthood is approximately 37%.
Blackbirds usually have 3 broods per season, usually a smaller clutch of 3-5 eggs, their survival rate to adulthood is 30-40%, they are flightless when they first fledge which makes them very vulnerable during these first few days. The nest itself, being open, is vulnerable to Magpies and other Corvids, growing prickly dense shrubs would provide a safe haven for a Blackbird nest, it’s interesting that more survive in urban areas than the countryside, maybe this is why.
It’s a tough time for all juveniles, they are vulnerable to predation by natural predators such as Magpies, other Corvids, collisions with glass, traffic, and the biggest predator of all the domestic cat. Their feathers are not waterproof and can become victim to hyperthermia during wet and cool weather. They are unable to fly any significant distance, like any youngster they are inquisitive without fear which results in them getting into scrapes.
It is very challenging for adult birds when their brood first fledges, warning them of danger and hunting for food, it is a great help to find a garden with a supply of food for the family.
Thank you for caring for the Wild Birds visiting your garden.