LINCOLNSHIRE WILDLIFE TRUST: Hear Spring is on its way

A great tit is recognised by its loud, "disyllabic" call.  Photo by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.
A great tit is recognised by its loud, "disyllabic" call. Photo by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.
0
Have your say

In the garden outside our office, birds are beginning to sing.

One of the easiest to recognise is the loud disyllabic “teacher, teacher, teacher” call of the great tit.

He is staking his claim to the garden territory and shows off to any females in the vicinity.

It’s a sure sign that spring is on the way and you don’t need to travel anywhere special to see the signs of spring.

They are all around us in our gardens and green spaces in cities as well as in the countryside.

In woodland or parks, other birds are making their presence known.

Listen for the distinctive drumming of great spotted woodpeckers which, like the great tit, the drumming acts as a territorial defence.

But, in this case, both male and female birds drum and they have special shock-absorbent tissue at the base of the skull to cope with making ten to 40 strikes per second against a branch or tree trunk.

Another bird that may be heard early in the year is the tawny owl, well known for its distinctive nocturnal “too-wit too-woo” call.

This call is actually a conversation – a male and a female owl calling to each other.

The female makes the ‘too-wit’ sound and the male answers with ‘too-woo’.

Tawny owls are one of the earliest woodland birds to nest and by the end of the month may already have eggs.

Other birds may not be nesting yet but they are thinking about it and starting to look for suitable sites.

If you’ve thought about putting a nest box up in your garden but never got round to doing it, now is the time. There are different sorts of nest boxes for different birds but they come in two main types, those with a small round hole and those with an open front.

The boxes with the hole on the front will attract birds that like to nest in places like hollow trees and the diameter of the hole is suitable for different species.

The smaller blue tits and coal tits will use a box with a hole size of 25mm, while larger, great tits will use a box with a hole size of 32mm.

The open fronted boxes are for birds like robins and blackbirds that would typically build their nests hidden amongst the vegetation of a hedge.

There are plenty of nest boxes available to buy or you can make your own, with instructions on making bird boxes and where to position them on the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust website.

Visit www.lincstrust.org.uk/discover-learn/building-bird-nest-boxes