When to Watch Wildlife

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PMcS 2005

 

Bird nesting times


Go to the main birds page.

Birds lay their eggs and raise their young to coincide with the time when tier particular food source is most abundant.  Thrushes are able to eat all sorts of insects, slugs and seeds found on the ground and hence are not too limited by peaks and troughs of food.  They just need to ensure that there is enough to feed them and their young and that the trees and bushes in which they nest can provide enough cover.

Insect eaters need to wait a little longer for when their prey hatches or emerges.  For instance winter moth caterpillars abound in May and some species await this event.  Seed eaters need to wait for plants to flower and set seed and hence are later still.  Some birds of prey feed on young birds their populations are highest from mid summer onwards.

The table below indicates how these varying strategies influence the nesting period of birds.

Key

 Eggs in the nest
 Nestlings in the nest
 Fledglings being looked after by their parents

1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Ground feeders such as thrushesE     
N      
F       
Insect feeders such as swallowsE      
N     
F       
Seed eaters such as goldfinchesE    
 
N     
F      
Birds of prey such as kestrelsE         
N       
F     
Sea birdsE    
N    
 
F      

 

 

All images and text are copyright PMcS 2006