Autumn is a season of change, as leaves turn brilliant shades of red and gold and the air becomes crisp and refreshing. It's also a time when your garden can play host to a fascinating array of wildlife. At Rushfields, we believe that your garden can be a haven for nature, even as the days grow shorter and cooler. In this blog, we'll explore the wonderful world of wildlife in your autumn garden, with a particular focus on our feathered friends, the birds. Discover the creatures you might encounter and learn how to make your garden a welcoming place for them.
Autumn's Garden Visitors
- Birds: Autumn is a crucial time for our avian companions. As the temperature drops and food becomes scarcer, many birds migrate or seek out reliable food sources in gardens. Look out for common garden birds like sparrows, robins, blackbirds, and finches. You might also spot seasonal visitors like redwings and fieldfares, which come from colder northern regions.
- Hedgehogs: These endearing creatures are getting ready to hibernate, so providing a safe space and some extra food can make a big difference in their survival.
- Butterflies: While not as numerous as in summer, some butterfly species are still active in autumn, like the red admiral and comma butterflies. Nectar-rich flowers can attract them to your garden.
- Bats: Bats are on the lookout for insects, their primary food source. Adding plants that attract night-flying insects will make your garden more attractive to these nocturnal creatures.
How to Help Wildlife in Autumn, Especially Birds
- Feed the Birds: One of the most direct ways to help wildlife in autumn is by providing food for birds. Set up bird feeders stocked with a variety of seeds, nuts, and suet. Consider high-energy options like sunflower seeds and fat balls to help birds build up their energy reserves for the winter.
- Clean and Provide Water: Fresh water is essential for birds, not just for drinking but also for bathing. Clean your birdbaths regularly and keep them filled. Birds will appreciate a clean and safe source of water.
- Plant Bird-Friendly Shrubs and Trees: Native trees and shrubs provide natural food sources and shelter for birds. Plants like hawthorn, elder, and rowan produce berries that birds love.
- Leave Seed Heads and Fallen Leaves: Resist the urge to tidy up your garden too thoroughly. Leaving seed heads on plants like sunflowers and coneflowers provides food for birds. Fallen leaves can create hiding spots for insects, attracting birds searching for a meal.
- Create Nesting Sites: Install bird boxes and nesting sites to give birds a safe place to raise their young in the spring. Different species have different preferences, so research which birds are common in your area and cater to their needs.
- Avoid Pesticides: Reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides and herbicides in your garden. These chemicals can harm the insects that birds rely on for food.
Find bird care and other wildlife necessities at Rushfields
Autumn is a time of transition, and your garden can play a vital role in supporting the wildlife that calls it home. By making a few simple changes and embracing the season's natural rhythms, you can help birds and other creatures thrive during this critical time of year. At Rushfields, we're here to provide you with the tools, knowledge, and supplies you need to create a wildlife-friendly autumn garden that's teeming with life and beauty. So, step outside, embrace the season, and watch as your garden becomes a haven for nature's wonders.