As well as providing homes for rescued and unwanted animals, we are also working hard to make Brockswood a safe haven for wildlife too.
As humans continue to build and take over more and more of the countryside, a rising number of birds are losing their own homes as a result. This major habitat loss means that food and water is harder for them to find, and it is becoming increasingly hard for them to breed and survive, resulting in losses in numbers and possibly somewhere down the line – complete extinction in some cases! Can you imagine a world without our cheery Robins? Or beautiful Owls?
We have allowed some parts of our site to stay as natural as possible, to encourage birds to come to. We have created various different habitats for them – ponds and boggy wetlands, fields, wooded areas, and we have scattered nest boxes around the site for them to use.
A habitat includes all four necessities for survival – food, water, shelter and nesting areas.
Some of our sheep and goats naturally lose parts of their fleeces and coats, and as well as pieces of straw and hay that they may pick up around the sanctuary, these bits of wool and fur make excellent nesting material for birds. We don't let anything go to waste!
You will notice patches of Stinging Nettles on site - this is not careless gardening - Nettle patches harbour lots of insects and invertebrates that birds eat, and in late summer the huge amount of seeds produced are food for many seed-eating species!
We compost most of our animal bedding, food and other animal waste. Worms, slugs, insects and other invertebrates will feed on this, and in turn, birds visit to seek out these insects, worms, and seeds. Compost is not only good for the farm but the wildlife on it too!
As well as keeping certain areas as natural as possible, to maintain and create habitats for wild birds and other animals to use, we have also created many nesting areas for them around the sanctuary. The natural nest sites on which many of our wild bird species depend, such as holes in trees and buildings, are fast disappearing as trees are cut down in gardens and woods, and old buildings are repaired (or in most cases, demolished).
Therefore providing adequate nesting areas for birds is extremely important to us in order to ensure that our wild birds can thrive and increase in numbers, in a time when we are seeing a great decline in many of our native species.
Bird Sightings at Brockswood
So far we have been lucky to see...
Barn Owl (Tyto alba), Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica), Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), Carrion Crow (Corvus corone), Coal Tit (Periparus ater), Common Blackbird (Turdus merula), Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo), Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), Common Gull (Larus canus), Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), Common House Martin (Delichon urbicum), Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus), Dunnock (Prunella modularis), Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula), Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto), Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica), Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea), Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), Eurasian Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris), Eurasian Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), European Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis), European Greenfinch (Chloris chloris), European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus), European Robin (Erithacus rubecula), Feral Pigeon (Columba livia domestica), Goldcrest (Regulus regulus), Great black-backed Gull (Larus marinus), Great Tit (Parus major), Greater Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major), Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea), Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea), House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), Jackdaw (Corvus monedula), Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), Little Owl (Athene noctua), Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus), Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus), Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba), Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), Redwing (Turdus iliacus), Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos), Tawny Owl (Strix aluco), Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella), Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)