Haith's Wildlife Blog https://www.haiths.com/ Fri, 03 Apr 2020 00:00:00 GMT https://www.haiths.com/ en hourly 1 Helping armchair naturalists https://www.haiths.com/helping-armchair-naturalists/ https://www.haiths.com/helping-armchair-naturalists/#comments Tues, 31 Mar 2020 00:00:00 GMT The Coopers https://www.haiths.com/helping-armchair-naturalists/ Sunday 22nd March 2020<br><br> Today is Mothering Sunday (“Mother’s Day”) and the sun is shining. Alas, because of Covid-19, many mothers will not see their offspring and will have to rely on a ‘phone call or contact by internet Sunday 22nd March 2020<br><br> Today is Mothering Sunday (“Mother’s Day”) and the sun is shining. Alas, because of Covid-19, many mothers will not see their offspring and will have to rely on a ‘phone call or contact by internet<br/>Friday saw the first day of spring &ndash; the astronomical version, based on the &ldquo;vernal equinox&rdquo;, when the sun is directly above the equator. Sometimes it falls on 20th March rather than 21st, but the arm chair naturalist will have realised that spring doesn&rsquo;t suddenly arrive on a given date. From late February the Armchair Naturalist will have noticed new signs of life, especially the appearance of flowers and the rapid growth of leaves (Figure). For the naturalist the meteorological &ldquo;first day of spring&rdquo; on the 1st March, which is based on the likely rise in ambient temperature, is more likely to fit his/her observations of the natural world outside through the window.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Rapid Growth of leaves" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Rapid-growth-of-leaves(2).jpg" /></div> <div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 9px;">The leaves of wild arum<em> (Arum maculatum, lords-and-ladies, cuckoo pint)</em> growing vigorously outside the Coopers&#39; home . Later characteristic &quot;spathes&quot; and orange-red spikes will appear</span></div> <br /> At this time of year, the Armchair Naturalist should be thinking broadly &ndash; birds, butterflies, bumblebees and beetles can all be indicators of spring, but so also are amphibians, such as frogs, reptiles and small mammals such as moles (Figure). More of these in later Armchair Naturalist blogs.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Moles Hill" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Mole-Hill(1).jpg" /></div> <div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 9px;">Molehills are a sign that moles (<em>Talpa europaea</em>) are on the move, probably stimulated by the warmer weather</span>.</div> <br /> You may not be in a position to see all of these animals, but each observation is important. The insect that buzzes as it passes your window, or perhaps appears in the sitting-room may well be a bumblebee that has just emerged from its winter hibernation and is looking for a secluded spot ion which to make its nest (Figure). Bumblebees are in trouble. 97% of our wild flower meadows have disappeared since 1945 and gardens have became a vital home and foraging ground for bumblebees and other vitally important insects (&ldquo;pollinators&rdquo;). Even if you don&rsquo;t have a garden, you (the Armchair Naturalist) can encourage these important insects by installing a plant pot on your window sill and sowing some wildflower seeds in it. Suitable sustainable seeds can still be bought online, despite Covid-19 restrictions. If you don&rsquo;t use a computer yourself, &lsquo;phone a friend or family member and ask them to order the seeds for you. It will be worth it!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Habitat" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Habitat.jpg" /></div> <div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 9px;">A suitable secluded spot for a bumblebee&#39;s nest.</span></div> <br /> Saturday 28th March 2020<br /> <br /> Its nine days since we wrote the foregoing piece. Our diary entries since then have reflect the very welcome warm sunny days that we have experienced here in Norfolk. We&rsquo;ve seen our first butterflies &ndash; a bright yellow male brimstone <em>(Gonepteryx rhamni</em>) and the familiar small tortoiseshell <em>(Aglais urticae</em>), both of which (like the bumblebees) must have emerged from hibernation and which will soon be looking for food plants on which to lay eggs (Figure). We&rsquo;ve seen two species of hoverfly from our window; they look like (and mimic) bees or wasps and are true flies, with only one pair of wings, and totally harmless. They search for wet places in which to lay their eggs. We&rsquo;ve also found our first ladybird of the year; counting the number of black dots on its abdomen tells us that it is a seven spot ladybird. Very easy!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Nettles" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Nettles.jpg" /></div> <div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 9px;">Young growing nettles (in the centre of the picture) attract small tortoiseshell butterflies, which may then lay their eggs.</span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Pond" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Pond.jpg" /></div> <p dir="LTR" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 9px;">Any wet place may provide a suitable spot for hoverflies to breed - for example, this tiny &quot;pond&quot; (in the centre of the picture) - a partly-sunk bowl in vegetation just outside the Coopers&#39; front door. </span></p> <br /> And In addition to these and other insects, we&rsquo;ve enjoyed watching goldfinches fly past en route to our neighbour&rsquo;s bird table, a male blackbird <em>(Turdus merula)</em> foraging (there must be a nest in the neighbour&rsquo;s hedge) and many, many, house sparrows <em>(Passer domesticus)</em> - but more about them in the a forthcoming podcast!<br /> <br /> John &amp; Margaret Cooper 0 Join the 'Armchair Naturalists' & beat the coronavirus isolation https://www.haiths.com/armchair-naturalist/ https://www.haiths.com/armchair-naturalist/#comments Tues, 31 Mar 2020 00:00:00 GMT Angela https://www.haiths.com/armchair-naturalist/ Like everyone else around four months ago, we heard the news that a new virus had emerged and was spreading rapidly in China. It all seemed very far away and was not disrupting lives here in the UK at all. Like everyone else around four months ago, we heard the news that a new virus had emerged and was spreading rapidly in China. It all seemed very far away and was not disrupting lives here in the UK at all.<br/>Fast forward three months and here we are; the vast majority of the country is now isolating at home, students are not at school or college and most shops have closed.<br /> <br /> It&rsquo;s certainly a grim time to be a human but outside in the natural world, things are moving on. Spring is here and with it the annual change in animal behaviour.<br /> <br /> Have you heard the dawn chorus yet? Usually, at this time of year, it&rsquo;s around 5.30 am &ndash; it&rsquo;s wonderful to hear the local <a href="https://www.haiths.com/blackbird/">Blackbirds</a> singing to attract a female. Singing uses a lot of energy and the strongest singers are more likely to attract a female to raise healthy chicks.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Blackbird" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Black-bird.jpg" /></div> <br /> You should also see a lot more activity on the bird feeder. One reason for this is because a bird&rsquo;s natural food isn&rsquo;t most abundant until summer and with all the extra mouths to feed at this time of year, they certainly need our help. If you&rsquo;re stuck indoors self-isolating, now is a great time to start birdwatching.<br /> <br /> Even elsewhere in the garden if you&rsquo;re lucky enough to have a pond the frog spawn or even tadpoles should be around soon.<br /> <br /> Plants like cyclamen and Helleborus come into their own at this time of year and who doesn&rsquo;t fail to be cheered up by the sight of daffodils and tulips.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Daffodils" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Daffodils.jpg" /></div> <br /> Join us in these uncertain times in becoming an armchair naturalist. Nature is always there for us to enjoy and even though we may be stuck indoors we can still embrace it. So, top up that bird feeder or weed the garden because fresh air works wonders.<br /> <br /> We are here to help so why not give us a call, our office staff are working from home, Haith&rsquo;s warehouse is fully operational with team members working safe distances from each other as per government guidelines.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Working from home" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Working-from-home.jpg" /></div> <br /> So, although we are apart, the Haith&rsquo;s team are still working together to help the UK&rsquo;s wildlife.<br /> <br /> Stay safe and we look forward to hearing from you.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/bird-food/"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Click here to view our range of bird food" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Click-here-to-view-our-range-of-bird-foods-2020(1).jpg" /></a></div> 0 Coronavirus update: We remain open https://www.haiths.com/coronavirus-update-we-remain-open-/ https://www.haiths.com/coronavirus-update-we-remain-open-/#comments Tues, 24 Mar 2020 00:00:00 GMT Simon H. King https://www.haiths.com/coronavirus-update-we-remain-open-/ Coronavirus update: We remain open and will continue to respect and work within the government's guidance. <br><br>Please note due to the increased orders and restrictions put in place to ensure employee safety for Covid 19, our orders are taking longer to arrive with customers. We will aim to get your order to you within 7-10 working days or sooner if possible. Coronavirus update: We remain open and will continue to respect and work within the government's guidance. <br><br>Please note due to the increased orders and restrictions put in place to ensure employee safety for Covid 19, our orders are taking longer to arrive with customers. We will aim to get your order to you within 7-10 working days or sooner if possible.<br/><img alt="latest news" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Coronavirus-Latest-News-update.jpg" /><br /> <br /> Yesterday&#39;s announcement from Prime Minister, Boris Johnson that non-essential businesses and premises must now shut was chilling; however, we are an exception to this closure because we manufacture pet food.<br /> <br /> Our office staff are now in the process of decamping to work from home. Leaving our manufacturing staff to do their level best to keep the birdseed diets flowing for your birds.<br /> <br /> Some of our customers are bird-keepers, enthusiasts who enjoy aviculture and share their knowledge to help fellow hobbyist and others take great comfort in the watching and feeding of wildlife. We consider the provision of bird food to be essential for both and our team is fully aware that the consequences of not providing seed for captive birds could end badly. This is the motivation each Haith&#39;s team member has each day when they arrive to do a day&#39;s work and try to make sense of the crisis that&#39;s gripping even the most remote corners of the globe.<br /> <br /> We will do our best to keep processing your orders, but please forgive us if our doorstep delivery isn&#39;t quite as slick as it usually is. Please bear with us and we&#39;ll help each other to get through the crisis together.<br /> <br /> <img alt="Haith's Helpline" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Haiths-helpline-banner.jpg" /><br /> <br /> Please don&#39;t forget that our Haith&#39;s Helpline is open and we&#39;re waiting to take your phone call should you wish to place an order or just have a chat about your birds - see <a href="https://www.haiths.com/haiths-helpline/">www.haiths.com/haiths-helpline/</a> for more information.<br /> <br /> Also, we&#39;d like to encourage you to become an &lsquo;armchair naturalist&rsquo; and connect through nature to beat the coronavirus isolation - for more information see <a href="https://www.haiths.com/feeding-the-birds-can-help-the-nations-armchair-naturalists-beat-the-coronavirus-isolation-/">www.haiths.com/feeding-the-birds-can-help-the-nations-armchair-naturalists-beat-the-coronavirus-isolation-/</a><br /> <br /> Stay safe and well.<br /> <br /> With best wishes from all at Haith&#39;s<br /> <br /> Simon King FLS 0 Feeding the birds can help the nation's armchair naturalists' beat the coronavirus isolation https://www.haiths.com/feeding-the-birds-can-help-the-nations-armchair-naturalists-beat-the-coronavirus-isolation-/ https://www.haiths.com/feeding-the-birds-can-help-the-nations-armchair-naturalists-beat-the-coronavirus-isolation-/#comments Weds, 18 Mar 2020 00:00:00 GMT Simon H. King https://www.haiths.com/feeding-the-birds-can-help-the-nations-armchair-naturalists-beat-the-coronavirus-isolation-/ Haith’s, Britain’s bird food specialists since 1937, and one of the world’s leading veterinary experts, Professor John E Cooper, are encouraging the nation to feed the birds and stay connected through nature to get through the coronavirus outbreak and impending isolation sessions, and to remain healthy. Haith’s, Britain’s bird food specialists since 1937, and one of the world’s leading veterinary experts, Professor John E Cooper, are encouraging the nation to feed the birds and stay connected through nature to get through the coronavirus outbreak and impending isolation sessions, and to remain healthy.<br/><div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="John Stood against books" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/colour-stood.jpg" /><br /> &nbsp;</div> &lsquo;Never have we needed nature more,&rsquo; says Simon King, Haith&rsquo;s Director and Fellow of the Linnean Society of London (FLS). &lsquo;Long periods of isolation will test everyone&rsquo;s willpower but turning our attention to the natural world&rsquo;s comings and goings this spring will help guide us through unchartered territory.&rsquo;<br /> <br /> To assist the nation&rsquo;s amateur naturalists beat isolation, Haith&rsquo;s has launched a Helpline (0800 298 7054) and its team is preparing to help Britain&rsquo;s birders stay connected with the outside world through observing nature in their garden.<br /> <br /> &lsquo;Haith&#39;s Helpline is a super initiative,&rsquo; says veterinary Professor and life-long naturalist John Cooper. &lsquo;Well done, Haith&#39;s.&rsquo;<br /> <br /> &lsquo;Being isolated, with or without coronavirus, can be a wonderful opportunity to observe Nature through the window,&rsquo; says Cooper. &lsquo;A good &quot;armchair naturalist&quot; will spot the first Spring butterflies and bumblebees and possibly hear the first chiff-chaff, long before those who may (or may not be) busy rushing round by car or bus to appointments and meetings.&rsquo;<br /> <br /> &lsquo;Putting out Haith&#39;s bird food will, of course, increase the chances of seeing interesting birds,&rsquo; says Simon King. &lsquo;We believe there&rsquo;s plenty of evidence to confirm that feeling connected with nature is good for our mental health and it&rsquo;s, therefore, our duty to help people feel linked to the outside world by offering a friendly voice to chat about garden birds&rsquo; antics this spring.&rsquo;<br /> <br /> &lsquo;Be sure to make a list of those birds you can identify!&rsquo; advises John Cooper &lsquo;Plants are also worthy of attention at this time of year - not just those intentionally planted in the garden, such as daffodils and snowdrops, but also the many attractive wild plants (so often unkindly dismissed as &quot;weeds&quot;) such as the lesser celandines and white dead-nettles that are in flower at present. This will be a challenging period for all of us, but I wish you all good luck you house-bound, but hopefully enthusiastic, &quot;armchair naturalists&quot;!<br /> <br /> Visit www.haiths.com to find out more about Haith&rsquo;s bird food and the Helpline.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.haiths.com/bird-food/"><img alt="View our range of bird food" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/View-our-range-of-bird-food.jpg" /></a><br /> <br /> &nbsp; 0 Haith's Helpline https://www.haiths.com/haiths-helpline/ https://www.haiths.com/haiths-helpline/#comments Tues, 17 Mar 2020 00:00:00 GMT Simon H. King https://www.haiths.com/haiths-helpline/ Today, we're opening our Haith's Helpline on the freephone number 0800 298 7054 - we're here (as we have been since 1937) to help you stay connected with nature, but from today we're going to double our efforts to help you stay connected with the outside world should you find yourself feeling isolated due to coronavirus. Today, we're opening our Haith's Helpline on the freephone number 0800 298 7054 - we're here (as we have been since 1937) to help you stay connected with nature, but from today we're going to double our efforts to help you stay connected with the outside world should you find yourself feeling isolated due to coronavirus.<br/><center><iframe allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-5TEjq3eyJk?rel=0" width="560"></iframe><br /> &nbsp;</center> Our customer services and helpline team intend to stay at work for as long as possible, but we&#39;re monitoring closely the government&#39;s guidance and colleagues are equipped to work from home should the situation worsen. These are challenging days, but there&#39;s one thing for certain - we&#39;re all in this together. And together we can work miracles.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Why launch a Haith&#39;s Helpline?<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Hearing at the weekend that every Briton over the age of 70 will be told within the coming weeks to stay at home for an extended period to protect themselves from coronavirus is an alarming thought; however, we want to let you know that we&#39;re here to support you with a friendly phone call (whatever your age!) and we&#39;ll - of course - continue to do our level best to keep bird food supplies arriving at your doorstep. Even if you&#39;d just like to chat about wildlife or, have seen a bird in the garden you don&#39;t see usually, please don&#39;t feel that we only want to hear from you when you have an order to place. We&#39;re here for you and we&#39;re here for birds and the natural world.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> As a company, we&#39;re determined to continue supporting your efforts to feed the birds and take solace in the natural world. As the American biologist and author of Silent Spring, Rachel Carson wrote in the 1960s &quot;Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.&quot; Nature needs us and - if we&#39;re looking at long periods of isolation - we may need nature more than ever.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The best place to stay informed and connected is <a href="https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.haiths.com%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7C%7C2419253c4790466d8f0908d7ca7690c6%7C8cd074027e8245b1a1307b4691bcc273%7C0%7C0%7C637200482890579647&amp;sdata=HU7JZKHoCNVtfZa4YmjrkGFe7JrKhnNRQ0APaL0C5%2B0%3D&amp;reserved=0">www.haiths.com</a> and our social media channels:&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Facebook:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/haithsbirdfood">https://www.facebook.com/haithsbirdfood</a><br /> <br /> Twitter:&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/HaithsBirdFood">https://twitter.com/HaithsBirdFood</a><br /> <br /> Feel free to stay in touch &ndash; we&rsquo;re here to help.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Simon King FLS and all at Haith&#39;s 0 Win 20kg Original Wild Bird Food https://www.haiths.com/win-20kg-original-wild-bird-food/ https://www.haiths.com/win-20kg-original-wild-bird-food/#comments Tues, 10 Mar 2020 00:00:00 GMT Haith's https://www.haiths.com/win-20kg-original-wild-bird-food/ We are giving away a 20kg bag of Original Wild Bird Food to one lucky winner. We are giving away a 20kg bag of Original Wild Bird Food to one lucky winner.<br/><a href="https://www.haiths.com/original-wild-bird-food/"><img alt="Win 20kg Original Wild Bird Food" src="http://www.haiths.com/images/blog/haiths/Competition-win-20kg-Original-Wild-Bird-Food.jpg" /></a><br /> <br /> For your chance to win <strong>20kg <a href="https://www.haiths.com/original-wild-bird-food/">Original Wild Bird Food</a></strong><strong> </strong>simply comment win to be entered into our prize draw.<br /> <br /> Terms and Conditions:<br /> <br /> UK entries only<br /> One entry per customer per household<br /> Competition runs from Wednesday 11th March 2020&ndash; Wednesday 25th March 2020<br /> The winner will be chosen at random at 11am on the Thursday 26th March 2020.<br /> There will be one winner who will win the prize featured in the competition.<br /> Prizes are as stated and are not transferable.<br /> No cash alternatives are available.<br /> &nbsp; 0