Haith's Wildlife Blog https://www.haiths.com/ Fri, 24 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT https://www.haiths.com/ en hourly 1 The Yellowhammer https://www.haiths.com/the-yellowhammer/ https://www.haiths.com/the-yellowhammer/#comments Tues, 21 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT Tina Jakes https://www.haiths.com/the-yellowhammer/ The Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) is a passerine bird and is part of the bunting family. The bright yellow plumage of the adult male Yellowhammer - along with his reddish-brown upperparts and white outer tail feathers - easily distinguish him from all other buntings and finches. The Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) is a passerine bird and is part of the bunting family. The bright yellow plumage of the adult male Yellowhammer - along with his reddish-brown upperparts and white outer tail feathers - easily distinguish him from all other buntings and finches.<br/>The female is more sombre in appearance; being duller on the back and buffish with brown flecking on the breast.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Yellow Hammer" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Yellow-hammer(1).jpg" /></div> <br /> They have a varied diet which consists of seeds, grains, insects, spiders and small fruits - especially blackberries. They forage for food mainly on the ground and one way of attracting them into your garden is by providing a good seed mix in a ground feeder.<br /> <br /> <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/original-wild-bird-food/">Haith&#39;s Original Wild Bird Food</a></strong> is a good all-round mix that contains a great variety of high-quality seeds and is outstanding for value for money. It is also very attractive to this species, especially when spread on the ground during hard weather. We also have a great selection of soft foods mixes such as our <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/prosecto-insectivorous-wbsf01004/">Prosecto Insectivorous</a></strong> and <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/golden-chorus/">Golden Chorus</a></strong> these are full of wholesome goodness which the birds will love and easily take.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/original-wild-bird-food/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Original wild bird food" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Original-wild-bird-food(17).jpg" /></a><br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/prosecto-insectivorous-wbsf01004/"></div> <div><img alt="Prosecto Insectivorous" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/prosecto(7).jpg" /></a><br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/golden-chorus/"></div> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Golden Chorus " src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Golden-Chorus(14).jpg" /></a></div> <br /> Across much of the UK, they are birds of the open countryside - making them a familiar farmland species. They are often associated with hedgerows, bushes and wooded areas where they can be spotted quite easily on posts or tree stumps singing its well-known, high-pitched song: a &quot;little bit of bread and no cheese&quot;. It&#39;s one of the finest sights and sounds of birds chirruping in the British countryside.<br /> <br /> I&rsquo;m afraid this yellow bird has declined over the last few decades and it finds itself besieged from all sides with the changes in farming practices and habitat loss which threatens this iconic farmland bird. We can, however, help stabilise the population of these birds by welcoming them to our gardens and keeping our feeders, bird tables and ground feeders stocked up especially during the winter season, with good clean high-energy nibbles.<br /> <br /> As these birds continue to struggle throughout the country, we all need to work together to help them until a better solution is made available. This is becoming an all too common a tale.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/bird-food/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Call to action" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Click-here-to-view-our-range-of-bird-foods(46).jpg" /></a></div> 0 Bird food for wrens https://www.haiths.com/bird-food-for-wrens/ https://www.haiths.com/bird-food-for-wrens/#comments Tues, 14 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT Angela and Chris https://www.haiths.com/bird-food-for-wrens/ The tiny Wren is one of our favourites. Small and often very secretive it breeds all over Britain but can suffer serious declines if we have a prolonged harsh winter. The tiny Wren is one of our favourites. Small and often very secretive it breeds all over Britain but can suffer serious declines if we have a prolonged harsh winter.<br/>Its physique is fairly unmistakable; it&#39;s tiny, brown and a little dumpy, almost rotund, with a fine bill and long legs and toes. For such a small bird it also has an extremely loud song. Common throughout the UK it can be seen in a variety of different habitats including farmland, heathland and moorland but especially deciduous woodland.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Wren" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Wren(5).jpg" /></div> &nbsp;<br /> The Wren is a regular garden visitor often in search of insects and worms. Funnily enough, however, some garden birders say they never see them! And that&#39;s the Wren irony - they&#39;re common and yet seldom seen (unless you know where to look). Don&#39;t worry, though, because we have lots of products for you to entice them into your garden or, make them a little more visible. In other words, if you feed them, they&#39;ll come. Maybe.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Start with <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/softbill-food-wbsf01006/">Haith&#39;s Softbill Food</a></strong> - it&#39;s a high-protein soft food containing vitamins and minerals blended with Bakers&#39; Honey and healthy vegetable oils. It doesn&rsquo;t require any mixing and should be placed under a sheltered area such as a bush or shrub. In fact, it&#39;s just as popular with all the other garden birds when fed from a conventional (or make do) bird table.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/softbill-food-wbsf01006/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Softbill food" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Softbill-Food(4).jpg" /></a></div> &nbsp;<br /> <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/songster-food/">Songster Food</a></strong> is one of our original mixes from the 1960s and has stood the test of time (tested by birds and by garden birders). Its ingredients include <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/sunflower-hearts/">sunflower hearts</a></strong>, high-calcium grit, oatmeal and raisins &ndash; certainly a tasty treat for any ground feeding bird. It can be fed dry or even slightly moistened before feeding. A word of warning though &ndash; raisins can be toxic to dogs so please be careful if you have dogs nearby.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/sunflower-hearts/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Sunflower Hearts call to action" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Sunflower-Hearts(40).jpg" /></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;"><br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/songster-food/"></div> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Songster food" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Songster-food(5).jpg" /></a></div> &nbsp;<br /> Live foods are the nearest we have to a Wrens natural diet. Mealworms, in particular, provide Wrens with essential protein and much-needed moisture. Clean and odourless, they are the larvae of the Tenebrio Molitor beetle and are available in a variety of weights including tubs and sacks.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/bird-food/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Call to action" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Click-here-to-view-our-range-of-bird-foods(45).jpg" /></a></div> 0 Discover all you need to know about the Wren https://www.haiths.com/discover-all-you-need-to-know-about-the-wren/ https://www.haiths.com/discover-all-you-need-to-know-about-the-wren/#comments Weds, 08 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT Tina Jakes https://www.haiths.com/discover-all-you-need-to-know-about-the-wren/ The Wren (Troglodytes Troglodytes) is a small dumpy bird that is a warm brown colour with lighter shades of brown and cream, its wings are small and round and its tail is short and narrow which is sometimes cocked up vertically. The Wren (Troglodytes Troglodytes) is a small dumpy bird that is a warm brown colour with lighter shades of brown and cream, its wings are small and round and its tail is short and narrow which is sometimes cocked up vertically.<br/>It is also known to have a loud song, which is a clear warbling sound - quite remarkable for such a small bird.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Wren" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Wren(4).jpg" /></div> &nbsp;<br /> Somewhat surprisingly, the Wren is the most common breeding bird in the UK - between April and July they can produce 5 or 6 eggs in two broods. Their nests are made from balls of leaves and grass; however, an artificial bird house can make life a great deal easier for the busy Wren!<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/schwegler-spherical-wren-house/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Schwegler Spherical Wren House" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/WBNB01013.jpg" /></a></div> &nbsp;<br /> It inhabits a very wide variety of places from remote mountain tops, sea cliffs, woodland, farmland and parks; it is also a regular visitor to most gardens. It is a bird that never seems to keep still for long, and when they venture out into the open they dart from one place to another, in search predominantly of insect food - looking through remote nooks and crannies&nbsp; in trees, bushes, garden borders, behind sheds and often skulking close to garden walls and wooden fences to see if they can find a morsel or two.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> It&#39;s easy to overlook the Wren when it comes to providing supplementary bird food. They won&#39;t readily explore a bird feeder, but they&#39;ll happily take small mealworms, Haith&#39;s Prosecto Insectivorous, and Golden Chorus when offered via a bird table or ground feeder. These super nutritious softfoods are high in protein, naturally nutritious and contain fruit that the birds love. Wrens are often happier when foods made available for them in, say, a dish, left at the base of shrubs or bushes. Ideal for timid Wrens.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/prosecto-insectivorous-wbsf01004/"><br /> <img alt="Prosecto" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/prosecto(6).jpg" /></a><br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/golden-chorus/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Golden Chorus" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Golden-Chorus(13).jpg" /></a></div> &nbsp;<br /> If you happen to see one of these little birds in your garden take note of its movements as it is an expert at hopping and dashing swiftly along the ground.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/bird-food/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Call to action" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Click-here-to-view-our-range-of-bird-foods(44).jpg" /></a></div> 0 Can bird food go bad and how long will it last? https://www.haiths.com/can-bird-food-go-bad-and-how-long-will-it-last/ https://www.haiths.com/can-bird-food-go-bad-and-how-long-will-it-last/#comments Weds, 08 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT Angela and Chris https://www.haiths.com/can-bird-food-go-bad-and-how-long-will-it-last/ The biggest clue you might get that your bird food may no longer be fresh is if your garden birds won’t eat it (although - just to confuse matters - there could be other reasons for birds turning their beaks away from bird feeders - such as during the moult). The biggest clue you might get that your bird food may no longer be fresh is if your garden birds won’t eat it (although - just to confuse matters - there could be other reasons for birds turning their beaks away from bird feeders - such as during the moult).<br/><div>However, for the purposes of this blog, let&#39;s say that the birds are ignoring the food and that seems out of character.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="QC graphic" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/QC-graphic.jpg" /></div> &nbsp;<br /> Firstly, give your seed a visual inspection - how does it look/smell. That&#39;s exactly what we do here at The Bird Food Centre. Some gardeners are keen to store their bird food in greenhouses and sheds - which is generally fine, but not if the area is open to vermin or damp conditions. Moisture will soon encourage mould to grow and that will soon dampen a seeds desirability as far as birds are concerned.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Continuing with a visual inspection - look out for live/dead insects, larvae, webbing or other debris. Check seed deep inside large <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/bird-food-storage-tub-wbac01003/">containers</a></strong> as seed at the top may appear fresh and uncontaminated. The best way to store seed is cool and dry, and containers should ideally have lids on them to prevent contamination. Doing this will keep your bird seeds in brilliant condition and save you money in the long run as your seed will stay healthy for longer.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/bird-food-storage-tub-wbac01003/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Bird food storage tubs" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Bird-food-stroage-tub.jpg" /></a></div> &nbsp;<br /> Smell the seed for any hint of mildew and mould. This will be a strong, sharp musty odour and will indicate unwanted growth in your seed. Discoloured grain can also be a sign of fungus in the seed. Again - we check all of these things at Haith&#39;s before we accept raw materials into the factory, during storage and manufacturing, and after seeds have been blended into a bird seed mix.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> If you suspect seeds have become moist, try sifting the seed for signs of dampness and clumping. Seeds that have clumped together may certainly have been wet and these are now unsuitable for your garden birds&#39; consumption. Sprouting seed is another sign of moisture as is condensation under the lid or inside your storage container. Some seeds are blended purposely for sprouting and feeding at their most nutritious to cage and aviary birds, but these are encouraged to sprout in clean conditions with clean water and good housekeeping.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Chaffinch" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Chaffinch(5).jpg" /></div> &nbsp;<br /> If your birdseed has been damaged because of any of the above reasons then it should be disposed of in a container or bag out of reach of pests and birds. If you&#39;re a dab hand at composting you may be able to use some of the seed there, but that&#39;s normally reserved for seed husks. We would then advise you to thoroughly wash, disinfect and completely dry your container before refilling it with fresh clean seed. If your container itself becomes damaged in any way then either replace or repair it before further use.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Correctly stored birdseed should last between six and twelve months (depending on the seed and seed mix) before becoming unsuitable for garden birds.&nbsp; We suggest rotating seed stocks on a regular basis and always use your oldest seed first.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Only purchase your seed in quantities that match the appetites of your birds then this way you can ensure your feeders are always filled with fresh appetising food. With adequate and proper storage you should never have to worry about running out of seed or having your feeders stand empty.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/bird-food/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Call to action" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Click-here-to-view-our-range-of-bird-foods(43).jpg" /></a></div> 0 Discover more about the Bullfinch https://www.haiths.com/discover-more-about-the-bullfinch/ https://www.haiths.com/discover-more-about-the-bullfinch/#comments Weds, 24 Apr 2019 00:00:00 GMT Tina Jakes https://www.haiths.com/discover-more-about-the-bullfinch/ The Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) comes from the family of finches (Fringillidae). The Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) comes from the family of finches (Fringillidae).<br/>It is a quiet, secretive but heavily built finch, the male has beautiful uniform pinkish-red breast and underparts, a black head, tail and primary wing feathers and grey back. In flight, its white rump is particularly noticeable. The female has duller plumage being paler and browner. They have short, stout black bills, ideal for breaking open hedgerow fruits and cracking open seeds.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/bullfinch/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Bullfinch" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Bullfinch(1).jpg" /></a></div> &nbsp;<br /> It is a bird that can be seen all year round and can be found in orchards, hedgerows and woodland edges and can usually be located by its mournful call, which is a low, short whistle &lsquo;phew&rsquo;. They feed voraciously on the buds from trees and shrubs, they prefer the flower buds over leaf buds as they are more nutritious and they are known to eat up to 30 buds a minute. During winter/early spring they eat the buds when the supplies of seeds are low and they can become &lsquo;pests&rsquo;, particularly in the fruit crops.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> During the late 1900s, the <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/bullfinch/">Bullfinch</a></strong> population had declined and was a Red List species (of the highest concern). But over the last few years their numbers have recovered (and continue to do so) and so they have been moved to the amber list.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> During the breeding season and late summer, the Bullfinch is particularly shy but as winter approaches and hedgerow food becomes more difficult to find they will come into gardens in search of food. They may then be in small groups and will come to the bird table and any food spread on the ground.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Best bird seeds for Bullfinches: Haith&#39;s SUPERCLEAN&trade; Sunflower Hearts provide high calorific value and high-energy to keep garden birds healthy. They&#39;re universally well-known for keeping bird feeding simple yet effective. The sheer amount of birds they appeal to is sensational, which is why they feature in many of our high-energy bird foods, and Bullfinches take to them readily.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/sunflower-hearts/">Sunflower Hearts</a></strong> appeal to so many garden birds &ndash; no wonder they&rsquo;ve overtaken peanuts as the number one garden bird food of choice. Feed sunflowers from tube-type seed feeders, bird tables, and ground feeders or sprinkle them on the ground. Haith&rsquo;s are super clean and super fresh as that&rsquo;s what&rsquo;s best for garden birds and wildlife.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/sunflower-hearts/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Sunflower Hearts" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Sunflower-Hearts(38).jpg" /></a></div> &nbsp;<br /> <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/suet-for-birds-and-fat-balls/">Suet&rsquo;s</a></strong> are also a favourite and are now a year-round food and not just to supplement winter feeding as they are considered superfood for all seasons. Feed suet throughout the entire year and particularly during key periods, such as the breeding season, during moulting and prior to migration.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/suet-for-birds-and-fat-balls/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Suet" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/View-our-suet-range(3).jpg" /></a></div> &nbsp;<br /> Don&rsquo;t despair if you haven&rsquo;t seen a Bullfinch visiting your garden - they tend to remain in the same areas throughout their lives and may only move away from their breeding sites during the harsh weather in order to search for food.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> If you have a garden that is connected to woodlands by thick hedgerows you may have a chance of spotting one.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> So keep a lookout for these beautiful birds as they will brighten up your day.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/bird-food/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Call to action" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Click-here-to-view-our-range-of-bird-foods(42).jpg" /></a></div> 0 Storing wild bird food and its shelf life https://www.haiths.com/storing-wild-bird-food-and-its-shelf-life/ https://www.haiths.com/storing-wild-bird-food-and-its-shelf-life/#comments Tues, 23 Apr 2019 00:00:00 GMT Angela and Chris https://www.haiths.com/storing-wild-bird-food-and-its-shelf-life/ As you attract more birds to your garden you may find that you have to purchase larger amounts of bird food and by buying in bulk you can save money. As you attract more birds to your garden you may find that you have to purchase larger amounts of bird food and by buying in bulk you can save money.<br/>Knowing where to store bird seed can ensure that your supplies keep fresh and tasty for the birds.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/camouflage-bird-food-storage-tub/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Storage bucket" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Camo-bucket.jpg" /></div> </a><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Bird seed is not only attractive to a wide range of garden birds it is also appealing to rodents, insects and other pests - but this shouldn&#39;t put you off feeding the birds as it&#39;s relatively easy to prevent.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Seed that&#39;s not stored properly can get damp, or, too hot depending on the weather conditions. This can cause bird food to rot and mould or mildew can gather, which is undesirable. Properly stored seed is also easier to use as when stored correctly it can make refilling your feeders an efficient and easy task.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Ideally, it would be good to purchase enough birdseed just for a short period of time to ensure that you have no storage problems, but seed bought in bulk is less expensive per KG, and by storing it properly can save money.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/camouflage-bird-food-storage-tub/">Storage containers</a></strong> are available in various sizes and small containers are lighter and easier to move if you have many feeders to keep filling up. On the other hand, larger storage containers will hold a greater amount of seed.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> If possible, choose a container that is made from a hard-wearing material that will not crack, chip or break over time. If purchasing a metal container, be sure that it is galvanised and will not rust. The sturdier the container, the more resistant it will be to potential rodent damage.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> All of your containers should seal tightly to help prevent insect and predators from gaining access to the seed. Watertight lids are also useful to minimize any risk of mould.&nbsp; If your containers are to be stored outside why not consider using ropes or weights to keep them tightly fastened against squirrels and other animals. It&#39;s better to keep bird seed cool and dry, and out of direct sunlight.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Place your container in a suitable location for refilling feeders - ideally in a garage, shed or patio storage solution. Also, try to place in a dry shaded area which will help your seed to stay fresher for longer.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> If you use different types of <strong><a href="https://www.haiths.com/bird-food/">bird seed</a></strong>, label your containers with their contents or, alternatively, use clear see-thru containers. This will help you to fill up your feeders quickly and easily and it can also be useful if someone is topping up your feeders on your behalf.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/bird-food/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Call to action" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Click-here-to-view-our-range-of-bird-foods(41).jpg" /></a></div> 0