BirdLife: The Magazine Apr-Jun 2018 - Page 17

By planting flowers and shrubs that are native to your country, you’re catering for native birds, while avoiding any problems with invasive species. Variety is key. Not only will birds feed on the plants themselves, but the more kinds of plant you introduce, the more species of insect they will attract – and the more birds you will see feasting on this deliciously varied buffet. Pesticides will kill off birds’ natural prey and poison the food chain, so instead, let the birds act as natural pest control. 1 Fill your garden (or balcony) with native plants Know what to do if you find a chick on the floor 2 We know it’s hard not to help a small, helpless bird outside of its nest. But you may be doing more harm than good. If the bird is hopping about, it’s likely to be a fledgling, being fed and watched over by nearby parents until it has learned to fly. If it’s definitely too young for that, try to put it back in its nest, if you can find it (and you can do so without damaging the nest). The parents won’t abandon the chick if it smells of humans – that’s just a myth. But the only place it should be taken away to is to an expert wildlife rehabilitation centre – don’t try to raise it yourself. apr-jun 2018 • birdlife 17