Haith's Wildlife Blog: https://www.haiths.com/ Sat, 19 Jan 2019 00:00:00 GMT https://www.haiths.com/ en hourly 1 The Great Spotted Woodpecker https://www.haiths.com/how-to-identify-a-great-spotted-woodpecker/ https://www.haiths.com/how-to-identify-a-great-spotted-woodpecker/#comments Thurs, 27 Dec 2018 00:00:00 GMT Tina Jakes https://www.haiths.com/how-to-identify-a-great-spotted-woodpecker/ The Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) is a medium-sized bird, and is one of two black and white woodpeckers that can be found in Britain. The Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) is a medium-sized bird, and is one of two black and white woodpeckers that can be found in Britain.<br/><div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Great Spotted Woodpecker" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/great-spotted-woodpecker-.jpg" /><br /> &nbsp;</div> <br /> Identification is easy to detect as the <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/great-spotted-woodpecker/">Great Spotted Woodpecker</a></strong> is about the size of a <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/blackbird/">blackbird</a></strong> with bold black and white plumage and a red patch on the lower belly. Males and young birds also have red markings on the neck or head. The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is a small bird about the size of a sparrow and has fewer markings under the tail.<br /> <br /> The feathers on the Great Spotted Woodpecker are beautiful; they have an all-black pair of central tail feathers, which are very thick and as the pairs go outwards increasing white tips with black marks can be found. The secondary feathers have larger spots of white and under the tail covert it is red, making it look rather elegant and dashing.<br /> <br /> The Great Spotted Woodpecker is known to have a very loud call which makes a &quot;tchick&quot; sound. They are also renowned for drumming its bill on a branch; it usually perches on the trunk then works upwards and often from side to side. During the ascent it smartly taps the bark, prising off fragments and frequently extracting food from crevices with the tip of its sticky tongue. It feeds largely on insects, especially ants and the larvae of wood-boring beetles. Holes may be chiselled up to four inches deep. You may be lucky enough to spot them from time to time as they are a bird that can be seen all year round in Parks and Woodlands, especially with mature broad-leaved trees, also mature conifers that will support them.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/blogfeederpeanutfeeders/"><img alt="PEANUTS FEEDERS" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Peanut-Feeders(2).jpg" /></a><br /> <br /> During severe weather conditions they like to feed on a variety of fruit, seeds and nuts, and they will feed from <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/blogfeederpeanutfeeders/">peanut feeders</a> </strong>and bird- tables in large gardens. Also if offered suet feast cakes are real treat for them and are full of nutrition giving them all the goodness they need.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/suet-for-birds-and-fat-balls/"><br /> <img alt="Suet Range" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Click-here-to-view-of-suet(2).jpg" /></a> 0 Love every bird https://www.haiths.com/love-every-bird/ https://www.haiths.com/love-every-bird/#comments Mon, 10 Dec 2018 00:00:00 GMT Angela and Chris https://www.haiths.com/love-every-bird/ This is a story about goodwill to all birds, not just our favourite garden bird. We all enjoy watching the Robins but there are plenty of other birds to love and welcome into our gardens during winter. This is a story about goodwill to all birds, not just our favourite garden bird. We all enjoy watching the Robins but there are plenty of other birds to love and welcome into our gardens during winter.<br/>We are trying to spread the essential message to love every bird, not just those who tend to get the lion&#39;s share of publicity such as <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/robin/">Robins</a></strong>, <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/goldfinch/">Goldfinches</a></strong>, <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/blackbird/">Blackbirds</a>&nbsp;</strong>and sparrows.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Goldfinch" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Goldfinch(5).jpg" /></div> <br /> It doesn&#39;t help matters when there are a number of bird foods sold at garden centres, for example, which are marketed specifically at bird species; however, generally, we think that&rsquo;s a little daft because we should love every bird who graces our bird table and we should celebrate them all equally for adding flashes of natural colour and life to our gardens and they&#39;re doing their level best to survive our ever changing countryside.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Robin" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Robin(13).jpg" /></div> <br /> We&#39;re as guilty as some for focusing on the favourites: we regularly write about the merits of our unique <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/goldfinch-and-siskin-mix/">Goldfinch and Siskin Mix</a></strong>; however, these are two birds whose beaks are profiled specifically to make the most of tiny thistle-like seeds and would naturally consume oil-rich seeds in the open countryside.<br /> <br /> Goldfinches have more recently adjusted to feed readily on <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/sunflower-hearts/">Sunflower Hearts</a></strong>, which are popular with just about every common garden bird.<br /> <br /> It&#39;s important to love every bird as their popularity shouldn&#39;t be taken for granted; for example, the once incredibly common <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/greenfinch/">Greenfinch</a></strong> has declined in numbers by 60% since the Big Garden Birdwatch began in 1979 and they&#39;re population has risen by 5% in recent counts.<br /> <br /> Even if we may not know the exact role each species of bird plays in the wild it&#39;s important to consider that they&#39;re all here for a good reason. Take the Chaffinch, it&#39;s less noticeable than a sparrow because it tends to vacuum up spilt seed and feeds primarily from the ground. It seems a very polite bird - just getting on with the job of tidying up a few morsels here and there that have been thrown to the ground whilst those birds who prefer to cling and feed on a bird feeder sift and sort out their favourite seeds.<br /> <br /> The large majority of Haith&#39;s wild bird foods have been created to feed all garden bird visitors simply because we love all birds.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> However, there&#39;s a new way to spread your love for garden wildlife and nature by feeding our new &#39;Heart Mix&#39; bird food recipe. This has been blended to fundraise for St Andrew&#39;s Hospice in Grimsby, N E Lincolnshire. For every bag we sell, we will donate 20% of the sale price to help the Hospice develop their wildlife garden for patients, staff, volunteers and visitors to enjoy. Please help us by purchasing a bag of &#39;Heart Mix&#39; today!<br /> <br /> And let&#39;s love every bird this winter and beyond.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/heart-mix-charity-bird-food/"><br /> <img alt="Hearts Mix" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/WBSM1053.jpg" /></a> 0 Learn about Mistle Thrush https://www.haiths.com/learn-about-mistle-thrush/ https://www.haiths.com/learn-about-mistle-thrush/#comments Thurs, 06 Dec 2018 00:00:00 GMT Tina Jakes https://www.haiths.com/learn-about-mistle-thrush/ The Mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus) is the largest member of the thrush family. The Mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus) is the largest member of the thrush family.<br/>It&rsquo;s a very distinguished looking bird; its upperparts are grey-brown, and its underparts are a pale yellow scattered with black spots, the long wings and tail have a whitish edging.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Mistle Thrush" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/BT_MIST.jpg" />&nbsp;</div> <br /> They are great characters and can appear quite powerful and aggressive, and will often give their presence away by their distinctive &lsquo;rattling call&rsquo; and this is usually delivered from a high perch at the top of a tree and can often be heard during a storm, hence its traditional name &lsquo;Stormcock&rsquo; (due to country legends).<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Mistle thrushes are mainly a UK resident and only a few migrate to Europe for the winter. They are a familiar visitor to our gardens and can often be seen in large flocks in open woodland and parks. They&#39;re a vigilant bird that will try to ensure food resources are maintained throughout the winter, guarding it against other thrushes.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Their diet is mainly insectivorous taking invertebrate worms, slugs, snails and various insects and are equally fond of berries, particularly those from the mistletoe plants (hence Mistle thrush).<br /> &nbsp;<br /> In harsh weather, they will often take windfallen apples and will readily consume bird food during cold snaps &ndash; especially Haith&rsquo;s nutritious soft foods. Haith&#39;s <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/prosecto-insectivorous-wbsf01004/">Prosecto Insectivorous</a></strong> Mix and <a href="https://www.haiths.com/prosecto-insectivorous-wbsf01004/">Golden Chorus</a> spread on the ground and Songster Food are accepted in prolonged spells of bad weather. <div style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.haiths.com/prosecto-insectivorous-wbsf01004/">&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Prosecto Insectivorous" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/prosecto(5).jpg" /></a><br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/golden-chorus/"><br /> <img alt="Golden Chorus" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Golden-Chorus(10).jpg" /></a></div> &nbsp;<br /> They&rsquo;re a very handsome bird and a delight to watch.<br /> &nbsp; 0 Help St Andrew's Hospice Grimsby make space for nature https://www.haiths.com/help-st-andrews-hospice-grimsby-make-space-for-nature/ https://www.haiths.com/help-st-andrews-hospice-grimsby-make-space-for-nature/#comments Mon, 03 Dec 2018 00:00:00 GMT Haith's https://www.haiths.com/help-st-andrews-hospice-grimsby-make-space-for-nature/ This year we’re taking a rest from our traditional 12 Days of Christmas campaign and we hope you won’t mind. <br><br> Let’s explain why… This year we’re taking a rest from our traditional 12 Days of Christmas campaign and we hope you won’t mind. <br><br> Let’s explain why… <br/><img alt="Heart Mix" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/articles/caring-enough-to-make-a-difference-.jpg" /><br /> <br /> Since 2000, we&rsquo;ve emailed one Christmas offer a day for twelve days from the beginning of December; we&rsquo;ve sung Christmas Carols (sorry!) and dressed up as Santa and his elf helpers (again, sorry!). All manner of offers has been e-mailed in those seventeen years. We&rsquo;ve enjoyed helping our customers feed their garden birds for a little less at Christmas, and we&rsquo;ve enjoyed going out of our way to bring you a little more from all of us who work at Haith&rsquo;s.<br /> <br /> So, why are we giving it a rest?<br /> <br /> Several months ago, we received an invite to take a look around our local Hospice and hear their plans for wildlife garden areas. We accepted the invite and were deeply touched. The Hospice, however, wasn&#39;t looking for sympathy - it was looking for ideas.<br /> <br /> We could immediately see the role nature could play to help ease the suffering and perhaps provide a moment or two of respite at a time when there are, regrettably, more questions than answers. We decided there and then to help, but we&#39;ve decided that this Christmas and winter we want to double our efforts.<br /> <br /> We want to generate enough income to help the Hospice invest in sustainable wildlife zones which can then be enjoyed by patients, visitors, staff and volunteers by - for example - introducing nest box cameras which can be observed by children who can also explore for bugs and other creepy crawlies in a safe environment - a moment or two spent together with nature.<br /> <br /> As we listened to the Hospice&rsquo;s stories, a thought occurred to us... Why not launch a bird food mix this Christmas and winter season that can make a big difference for nature and help the hospice at the same time?<br /> <br /> So that&#39;s exactly what we did. <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Heart Mix" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Heart%20Mix%20Icon.jpg" /></div> <br /> What we came up with is below, our <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/heart-mix-charity-bird-food/">Heart Mix</a></strong> and we&#39;ll be donating 20% from each sale to the Hospice.<br /> <br /> We look forward to sharing photos to show how your support is making a positive difference.<br /> <br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/heart-mix-charity-bird-food/"><br /> <img alt="Heart mix" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/articles/Please-help-us-buy-purchasing-a-bag-today.jpg" /><br /> <img alt="Heart Mix Prices" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/articles/Heart-Mix-prices.jpg" /></a><br /> &nbsp; 0 Bird Life in December part 1 https://www.haiths.com/bird-life-in-december-part-1/ https://www.haiths.com/bird-life-in-december-part-1/#comments Thurs, 29 Nov 2018 00:00:00 GMT Angela and Chris https://www.haiths.com/bird-life-in-december-part-1/ With Christmas just weeks away we are beginning to feel festive here at the Haith’s Bird Food Centre in Lincolnshire and one of our favourite Christmas carols at this time of year is the Twelve Days of Christmas. With Christmas just weeks away we are beginning to feel festive here at the Haith’s Bird Food Centre in Lincolnshire and one of our favourite Christmas carols at this time of year is the Twelve Days of Christmas.<br/><span style="font-family: sans-serif, Arial, Verdana, &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400;">I</span>n fact, we love it that much a couple of years ago we made a video<br /> &nbsp; <center style="text-align: center;"><iframe allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FtGDRWoPfEk?rel=0" width="560"></iframe><br /> &nbsp;</center> <br /> But did you know in the natural world there are key dates to look out for with different species of birds?<br /> <br /> For <u>instance</u>, around December 5<sup>th</sup> you may begin to hear Mistle Thrushes begin to sing abundantly. This is our largest Thrush and can be heard at this time of year from an exposed perch singing loudly before searching for fruit and berries.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Mistle Thrush" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Mistle-thrush(1).jpg" /></div> <br /> Roughly about the 9th <u>December</u>, you may also see Meadow Pipits flocking together. Pipits are similar to Larks but have more slender beaks and during the winter months, it can be seen in all different habitats.<br /> <br /> Around the 16<sup>th</sup> December, the Tree Creeper will still be singing. This lovely bird can be seen in woods throughout Britain and surely lives up to its name by creeping up tree trunks and along branches.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Tree Creeper" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/TREECREEPER.jpg" /></div> <br /> The Corn Bunting can also be seen singing around the 21<sup>st</sup> December mostly on arable farmland across much of England. This is the largest of all the buntings and can often be seen perched on a post or wires.<br /> <br /> Smaller than a <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/woodpigeon/">Wood Pigeon</a></strong>&nbsp;the Stock Dove can be heard cooing around the 23<sup>rd</sup> December. This breeds in most parts of Britain expect in the far north. So look out for it in parkland and along woodland edges.<br /> <br /> To be continued&hellip;&hellip;.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/bird-food/"><br /> <img alt="Call to action" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Click-here-to-view-our-range-of-bird-foods(26).jpg" /></a> 0 A Wildlife garden in November https://www.haiths.com/a-wildlife-garden-in-november/ https://www.haiths.com/a-wildlife-garden-in-november/#comments Mon, 19 Nov 2018 00:00:00 GMT Angela and Chris https://www.haiths.com/a-wildlife-garden-in-november/ A drop in temperature offers a fantastic opportunity for the garden bird enthusiast; it’s a great time of year to watch nature develop in your own back garden; it’s a chance to see Blackbirds, House Sparrows, Greenfinches and Blue Tits and one of our all-time favourites, the Robin. A drop in temperature offers a fantastic opportunity for the garden bird enthusiast; it’s a great time of year to watch nature develop in your own back garden; it’s a chance to see Blackbirds, House Sparrows, Greenfinches and Blue Tits and one of our all-time favourites, the Robin.<br/><div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Robin" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Robin(12).jpg" /></div> <br /> You may also see winter migrants (the winter thrushes) that include <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/redwing/">Redwings</a></strong>, <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/fieldfare/">Fieldfares</a></strong>, and <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/brambling/">Bramblings</a></strong> &ndash; make the most of these as they will return to their homes come springtime.<br /> <br /> During this cooler period, it&rsquo;s essential for birds to find and consume their food quickly and so providing high-quality bird food will help them survive the winter and (importantly) be fighting fit for the spring breeding season.<br /> <br /> Our <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/autumn-winter-bird-seed/">Autumn/winter</a></strong> mix is bursting with energy-rich nutrients, this can be fed in a tubular feeder or scattered on a bird table.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/autumn-winter-bird-seed/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Autumn Winter Mix" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Autumn-winter-mix(4).jpg" /></a></div> <br /> Don&rsquo;t forget birds feed at all different levels and species such as thrushes and Dunnocks do not like to use a hanging feeder and so bird food for them is best fed on the ground. Haith&rsquo;s <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/songster-food/">Songster</a></strong> food is the perfect mix to just scatter around the garden and may be found by Dunnocks and thrushes.<br /> <br /> Suet foods are very popular with most kinds of birds and are packed with calories. Unsure which ones to try first? Try our suet variety pack, which contain four different flavours - you&#39;ll soon identify your garden birds&#39; favourite.<br /> <br /> Despite the autumn and winter months being traditionally cooler, they can, at times, be a relatively dry time of year as water sources may be frozen. So why not put out a <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/bird-baths/">bird bath</a></strong> but remember to change the water daily.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/bird-baths/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Bird baths" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Bird-Baths(3).jpg" /></a></div> <br /> Autumn is also the best time of the year to clear out <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/nest-boxes/">nest boxes</a></strong> or place a new one up, birds may use it to shelter in during the colder months.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/nest-boxes/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Nest Boxes" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Nest-boxes(1).jpg" /></a></div> <br /> We have a fantastic range of wooden, natural and woodcrete nest boxes which would be a great addition to any garden.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Garden Image" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Garden-image.jpg" /></div> <br /> The sunlight can be gentle in autumn and with dwindling light and shorter days, there is still much to see and discover in your garden. We hope you enjoy feeding and watching the birds in your wildlife garden this November.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/bird-food/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Click to buy banner" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Click-here-to-view-our-range-of-bird-foods(25).jpg" /></a></div> 0