Monthly Archives: July 2010


Cats do kill birds.  That is a fact

I know someone who is having a problem with cats.

She says cats regularly leave their excrement on her lawn and flower beds.  They use her shrubbery to ambush and kill birds and small mammals.  They destroy plants with their urine and leave their infested paw prints on her garden furniture.  But the worst thing is the killing of garden birds – needless killing.

She says she did not invite these animals into her garden.  She has used powder, gel and spray but non of the cat repellants work. 

She does not understand how anyone can love a pet yet let it roam outdoors and forget about it.  She says millions of cat owners let their cats roam and if the cat owners were more responsible then perhaps the newly fledged birds would survive.

She believe that cats do not have an automatic right to roam and they do not need to.  She wishes cat owners realised that and took  more responsibility by keeping their cats inside more or enclosed in their own garden.  

I am lucky at the moment as we do not have a cat problem here.  But I do know the carnage a cat can cause.  If I am driving on an evening and I see cats sneaking into hedgerows I just say a prayer for the birds inside the hedge.


We have the RSPB come and walk the fields near our house.  These are some of the birds that have been seen flying round the fields near where I live

Common Buzzard
Common Kestrel
European Golden Plover
Northern Lapwing
Sky Larks
Short EaredOwl
Coal Tit
Great Tit
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Black Billed magpie

Also seen

Brown Hares
Roe Deer

Berries for birds


English Hawthorn Hedge 
Hedges – An ordinary hedge isn’t really ordinary -it’s got many uses in the animal kingdom. 
Birds weave their nests in amongst the branches of hedges, or the thick ground vegetation. There are long tailed tits, wrens, hedge sparrows, blackbirds and chaffinches, plus many more. 
Many seed eating birds catch insects to supplement the diet of their young family .  So aphids and other plant eating insects in hedges provide food for many predators – for example ladybirds, lacewing larvae and, of course, birds. 
Hedge is a sanctuary for wildlife and hedges run the length and breadth of Britain 
Today most woods are small and separated from each other by open fields. It is often the hedgerows which connect these woods (like highways) 
In winter the berries feed many wild birds – The hawthorn bush and the holly bush to name two.  The hedges near our house are a hive of activity most of the time. 
If you are thinking of planting a hedge or some bushes then think British Birds! 
Photos and information – 











































I have lots of hedge sparrows in my garden. 

Last winter a hedge sparrow (or Two) took over a house martin’s nest outside my bedroom window but nested in hedge as normal in Spring. 

They have recently pushed 4 feathered baby house martins out of nest and have taken up residence once more.  They are also attacking another nest with baby martins in it and dive bombing the parents.  

I now hate them will think twice about feeding them this winter.


Hi, Thanks for getting in touch.

  That is a good point of yours about feeding sparrows in winter.  We feed them and help them survive and they kill other birds.  If we didn’t feed them then, it seems as though, higher numbers of other bird species would survive.  That is very thought provoking.  Thanks for getting in touch

I cannot see a house martin killing a sparrow can you?


You can know the name of every bird but ….

  “You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world,
but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird…

So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing – that’s what counts.

I learned very early the difference between
knowing the name of something and knowing


The Myth of Mental Illness
By: Dr. Sam Vaknin



Swallow Monitoring

It is great to hear so many people love their swallows but sad that in some areas there are less birds. This is one of the reasons I like monitoring them for the BTO in my three parishes, on the west side of Worcestershire.

At present I am gathering nest records on 40 pairs and I know we have other pairs in nests too hard to get too, so we are having a pretty good season.

One sad fact is some pairs have not learnt it can be disastrous to place their nests right under felt and tin roofs especially in a hot spell as we are now having. It becomes so hot the nestlings are forced to jump out of the nest and then possible die hitting a hard floor. If any of you have this happen it is possible to put up a container slightly lower down with an old swallow nest or hay in it, and move the young down. I did this recently when I found two dead and one just alive. It was the best thing to do as the last one would have died anyhow, so was worth a try. The parents recognise the chicks “peeps” for food when they fly in and feed them.

I still have swallow sites where none have returned but at others the number of pairs has increased. As I explained before it is the adults coming back for a second or third season, that regularly return to the same site, and there could be up to a two third loss in adult birds making the migration successfully.

In many years of catching swallows returning I have had hardly any moving to another site in my parishes. It makes sense to go back to a place they remember, where nesting places are known and there are places to feed. It is the first year birds coming back that have to find a place to set up home either in a new site they have disovered or manage to find a vacant nesting site with others.


Thank you Garth for this interesting an indepth description of what goes on with swallow monitoring and other swallow information.

We are worried as there are hardly any swallows here this year.  If only two or three set off when it is time for them to migrate it is bad news for next Spring.