The Gardener's Birds.

Chirpy chirpy cheap cheep.

Image of Robin redbreast
Robin redbreast

Melody makers

Without the songbirds, we would have more worms and fewer brambles & elderberry trees to weed out, but we would miss the constant background music. Learn to recognize each one by its song and with practice, you will be able to judge their moods as well. Remember, happy birds equals healthy garden. If the squirrels take all the peanuts, at least make sure there is always a fresh supply of water for the birds to drink and bathe.

Robin Redbreast

The tamest of all the garden birds has to be the Robin.
Somehow, I have managed not to stand on one yet though I frequently hit them with weeds when I toss them in the tub. Day after day, these birds will be hopping at my feet in an effort to get that juicy bug before I do. When they can no longer eat anything else, they retire to a bush a few feet away to spend the rest of the day gently singing a cheerful melody.

Blue tit

Image of Blue tit at peanut feeder.

"Peanuts for lunch again"

Common visitors to virtually every garden  though most people rarely see them. The background noise in the suburban garden tends to drown the blue tit's song unless a flock comes along, then they can make quite a racket for a short time. When given a good reason to leave the seclusion of the bushes these birds are not shy. Put the peanut feeder out and they will be the first in the queue.

These birds are a valuable asset to the gardener, as their primary diet during the winter months are the aphids and similar tiny pests. By making inroads into the bug population, these pests will be slower to get established when the spring comes.

There are several different species of tit and most of them will be seem in the garden if you are observant. Blue tits, Great tits, Long-tailed tits, and Coal tits are all happy to feed in your garden though you will seldom see all of them at the same time.


Image of Cockney Sparrow

"Who oiled the landing"?

If the Robin is the tamest bird and the Blue tit the most useful, the Sparrow has to be the cheekiest. Although supposed to be declining in numbers, these birds are another common garden visitor. Being small, brown and about as good at singing as me, they tend to get overlooked by most gardeners.

These birds are the hooligans of the feathered world, normally traveling in large gangs, constantly shouting and fighting amongst themselves just like a bunch of unruly school children. They are comical to watch though, and may become quite tame if they decide to stay in the area. Magpies have been blamed for the sparrow's decline, but the real reason is obvious from the photo:

They're stupid.





Image of Blackbird

"Where's my worms then"?

No garden I know of is ever without this bird. Often scratching about in the undergrowth of the flower borders, the blackbird can become very tame, and like the robin, regularly follows the gardener's activities. The Blackbird is by far the most tuneful of the gardeners friends and during Spring and early Summer it seems to spend all day long on its perch while singing its vast repertoire of melodies. There has been lots of discussion about why birds sing, but the gardener knows:
They are happy and contented.

Image of Pigeon

"Waiter! There's a sparrow in my bread."

Doves and Pigeons

What can I say about these greedy birds except that they are always in the garden making a mess.

I'll just leave it with a quotation from the Mayor of London:

"Rats with wings"

To be continued:

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The Gardener's Companions

Short Stories.

  • Voles.
  • A Landscaper's Tale.

External Links.