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.
How to help wildlife in your garden
- Wildlife gardening
- Attract birds to your garden
- Make a bee-friendly garden
- Alan Titchmarsh on gardening for wildlife – podcast
Great tits and blue tits are feeding their young
Great tits and blue tits are busy feeding their young, in May. One pair can have around 10 chicks in the nest, each of which needs to eat around 100 caterpillars per day, for the first three weeks of its life. If you see the birds frantically searching among your herbaceous plants and trees, it’s likely they’re looking for caterpillars. Give them a helping hand by ensuring plants are well watered so the caterpillars have enough to eat, and let them remain on your plants, rather than picking them off. Leave food out for adult birds to refuel quickly while they search for natural food to feed their young. Avoid putting out peanuts at this time of year, as there’s a small risk of baby birds choking on large chunks of nut.
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