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Pruning only after the brooding season of birds

It is good to have lots of birds in the garden. It makes it livelier, more exciting for the whole family and, in addition, blackbirds, thrushes, finches and starlings keep the numerous insect pests on the trees and in the flowerbeds at bay.

However, paradoxically, the feathered creatures are in particular danger from your gardening if you cut back shrubs during the brooding season. If disturbed at an early stage, when the nest is being built or at the beginning of egg-laying, there is a very great risk that the frightened birds interrupt both. If laying is complete and a brooding bird is then startled, the risk of it giving up its nest is reduced but still quite possible, especially if disturbed again.

When the chicks have hatched, the parents do not voluntarily give up the brood – this is prevented by the care instinct. On the other hand, the cutting of shrubbery represents a further mortal danger! Especially when cutting the upper half of a hedge, the fledglings may presume that their nest being shaken means that a parent has arrived with food and they may stretch their necks as far as possible beyond the edge of the nest. Then, when the hedge trimmers … - in other words: hold back on cutting shrubs during the brooding season of your garden birds and carefully observe during the months of March to August in which areas of your garden birds tend to flap about very frequently, where they build nests and where they might fly to a breeding ground with food in their beaks.

If you have to cut shrubs in the spring and summer brooding period, carefully check beforehand whether brooding could be affected and if necessary wait until the young are fully fledged.

Tip: After the chicks are fully fledged, remove old nests from shrubbery and nesting boxes promptly and completely. The birds can thus plainly see that the popular breeding ground is free again and it is often willingly re-occupied for a second brood. Neither parent birds nor their young, on the other hand, ever return to old nests – with the exception, for example, of swallows, crows, magpies, storks and birds of prey.

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