What garden wildlife is doing now
Find out what the wildlife in your garden is up to in November.
November is cold, misty and full of berries. Nights have well and truly drawn in now, and the wildlife in your garden is either battling through the darker days or popping out of hibernation in search of food.
Keeping bird feeders topped up is crucial at this time of year, as many small species need all the help they can get just to stay warm at night.
How to help wildlife in your garden
- How to make a wildlife-friendly bonfire
- Fergus Garrett on wildlife at Great Dixter - Podcast
- Wildlife gardening jobs for November
- Make a wildlife-friendly Christmas wreath
Foxes are foraging
Foxes, which don't hibernate, can be seen foraging for food late at night. Food is becoming increasingly scarce for them, so you might want to leave food out to give them a helping hand. A raw egg in its shell is the perfect treat for them. This year's young are teenagers now, and are starting to explore new territories.
Tits and finches are looking for food
Tits and finches are starting to gather in 'roving groups' looking for food. Look out for them in seed-bearing trees such as silver birch and alder (Alnus glutinosa). They may land on your feeders in search of sunflower hearts, peanuts and suet products. Goldcrests and firecrests - Britain's tiniest birds - are often spotted with gangs of tits.
Field mice are breeding
Field mice continue breeding in mild autumns and winters. Look out for them feeding beneath bird feeders or taking seed from long grasses or ornamental plants. They cache food, so if you find a pile of seeds or nuts in the corner of your shed, it will likely have been made by a field mouse with a nest nearby.
Waxwings may venture into your garden
Keep an eye out for waxwings, which arrive in autumn and feed on berries. They usually stick to the countryside but may come into gardens if natural food supplies run low - check berrying plants like cotoneaster and rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) for unusual sightings of these dramatic looking birds.
Listen out for starlings
Starlings flock together and 'murmurate' in large groups at dawn and dusk. Listen for their calls from rooftops in late afternoon, before small groups join together and then fly off, en masse. Why not find out where your local murmuration site is and go and see them in action? Meanwhile peanuts, sunflower hearts and suet will keep them fed over the coming months.
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