One often overlooked but important nesting site for wild birds is hedges. Preserving and managing hedgerows will help maintain a healthy bird population. Hedges provide protection, shelter and resources for wild birds, but which hedges do they nest in?
Hawthorn - The hawthorn hedge, also known as the May tree, is a popular nesting site for several bird species in the UK. Its dense structure and sharp thorns provide excellent protection from predators. Birds like blackbirds, thrushes, and bullfinches are commonly found nesting in hawthorn hedges.
Blackthorn - Blackthorn hedges are abundant in the UK countryside and are visited by many birds for nesting. The dense growth and thorny branches provide secure hiding places for species like song thrushes, yellowhammers, and whitethroats.
Field Maple - Field maple hedges offer a suitable nesting habitat with their bushy growth and dense foliage. Birds such as chaffinches, dunnocks, and robins often choose field maple hedges for nesting, finding cover and protection among the leaves.
Beech - Although beech hedges are less common, they are still utilised by several wild birds. The dense covering of leaves provides great coverage for nesting birds, including great tits, blue tits, and blackcaps.
Privet - Privet hedges, commonly found in gardens and urban areas, are popular nesting sites for birds due to their dense structure and evergreen leaves. Species such as blackbirds, sparrows, and wrens often choose privet hedges to build their nests.
Hedges are important nesting sites for wild birds in the UK. Before you think about trimming or cutting your hedge it is beneficial to check for any signs of a nest being built or a bird nesting and be vigilant during the nesting season from the start of March until the end of July.