No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Britain's gardens are a vast, living landscape and the home to hundreds of species of birds. Learn to pay attention to these visitors to your own garden or local park and you'll have a front-row seat to the unfolding drama that is the garden bird's year. As dawn breaks across your back garden, if you were paying attention, you would notice that the robin and the blackbird are always the first birds to arrive. These ground hunters have large eyes, so don't mind the dim light of the early morning. And that's just the beginning of what you can learn watching your own back garden. Ornithologist Mike Toms has spent a year avidly observing his own garden, and the result is a comprehensive picture of the lives of garden birds. From the crowded yet quiet January garden populated by migratory fieldfares and bramblings, to the riotous gardens of spring, filled with songbirds competing for mates, the garden ecosystem changes throughout the year. Learn to spot these changes, to greet the arrival of the swifts in May and the new crop of fledgling goldfinches and blackbirds in June, and you'll find a new world opening up to you. A Garden Bird's Year is the perfect introduction to this world. Supremely readable, it explains biology and behaviour to paint a picture of the lives of common bird species, while also offering practical information for watching and feeding the birds in your own backyard. Toms details birds' preferences for particular plants, seeds and feeders, so you can learn to attract different species to your own garden. He also charts fascinating recent adaptations - urban birds sleep later than their rural counterparts, probably because cities are on average a few degrees warmer, and they sing either earlier or later, to avoid competing with local traffic; and the balance of migratory birds to Britain is being affected by the world's changing climate. Many species of garden birds are threatened, but there is much that each one of us can do to support them, to attract them, and to help them thrive through the year.
Gardens make a significant contribution to the amount of urban green space and are the main contributors to urban biodiversity. Birds are one of the most visible components of this urban biodiversity, and many of us enjoy attracting wild birds into our gardens. This timely addition to the New Naturalist Library examines the ways in which birds use gardens, revealing the many new discoveries that are being made and explaining why individual species of bird use gardens in the ways that they do. Why, for example, do Blackcaps now winter in UK gardens - favouring those in the southwest and those that are urban in nature - and why do Siskins increase their use of garden feeders on damp winter days? With a growing human population, the process of urbanisation is set to continue and it is important to recognise the impacts that urbanisation will have on bird populations and the community of species making a living within the built environment. Although many people do not regard themselves as birdwatchers, most of those who seek to attract wild birds into their gardens do so because they enjoy watching them. Some have taken their interest further by becoming involved in citizen science projects that have helped to develop our understanding of how and why birds use our gardens and the resources that they provide. This research demonstrates the role that gardens play in the ecology of many wild bird populations and reveals insights that continue to fascinate a growing audience, increasingly interested in the wildlife that lives alongside them.