The nesting season of wild birds is in full swing in May. Soon
the birds themselves will reach their peak of usefulness to man.
wren, hedge-sparrow, song-thrush and many others will be about their
business of finding food for hungry nestlings and so will be making constant
inroads on garden pests. True, the song-thrush may later take small toll of
your bush fruit; but, all the same, this bird is the gardener's very good
friend. Of all our birds, it is the champion snail killer; if it were no
more than that, it would deserve protection and encouragement.
As for robin,
wren and hedge-sparrow––nobody has anything but good to say of them; in
fact, there is nothing but good to say. Any or all of them may nest in
gardens; if any of them nests in yours, let it nest in peace. Your interest
and protection will be repaid a hundredfold.
Then there are the great tit and the blue tit. If you have a nest
box in your garden––maybe even if you haven't––you may have the great good
luck to harbour a family of either species.
The last analysis of the food of these two feathered benefactors showed two-thirds
injurious insects for the great tit, no less than three-quarters for the
blue! What gardener would grudge such friends as these an occasional beakful
It's a pity to add a discordant note; but there are birds you will
need to watch. The house-sparrow, it is true, feeds its young on grubs and
insects and takes a good many for itself; but it can be a nuisance when
green things are coming through. If you are near a wood and there are jays
about, look to your peas. If there are woodpigeons, look to anything in the
garden that can be eaten. But apart from these few, the birds are your
friends. If you give them a square deal, they will give you something better
than that, for not all your labour or insecticides will do so much to keep
the garden clean.
remember, the birds are on the job all day long