May is the most exciting month for garden wildlife. Many bird species are feeding chicks in the nest or fledglings on the lawn. Bumblebees are starting to increase in number, and are joined by mining bees such as the tawny mining bee, which nests in the ground, and the red mason bee, which uses bee hotels. At night, hedgehogs are starting to look for mates – you may hear the tell-tale snuffles as males try to woo females at night.
Helping wildlife through a dry spring
In recent years, spring has been drier than previous averages. This puts pressure on wildlife as flowers produce less nectar in dry conditions, while leaves shrivel on caterpillar foodplants, which puts pressure on caterpillars and the birds that rely on them for food. Mammals such as hedgehogs, foxes and badgers have to travel further in search of drinking water, while hoverflies – many of which lay eggs in stagnant water – may be unable to lay eggs. It’s also important to remember that some species, including the house martin and red mason bee, use mud to make their nests.
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