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.
Praise for Garden Birds:
‘Excellent’ Chris Packham
Praise for Mike Toms:
‘Seventy years in the making, this celebration of our native owls is a fine addition to a glory of British publishing – the New Naturalist series’ The Sunday Times
‘It’s an excellent read and should be on every owl enthusiast’s bookshelf, not to mention those of collectors of this great series’ Birdwatching
‘Fabulous … [Owls brings] the natural world to a wide audience in simple unfussy but engaging prose … The result is the best and most detailed published account of the British owl species ever produced … One of the joys of the book is that Toms leaves no stone unturned to narrate the birds’ full biography.’ Mark Cocker, Eastern Daily Press
Praise for the New Naturalist series:
‘Taken either individually or as a whole, they are one of the proudest achievements of modern publishing’ The Sunday Times
‘The series is an amazing achievement’ The Times Literary Supplement
‘The books are glorious to own’ Independent
About the author
Mike Toms has overseen the BTO’s Garden Ecology Team for more than a decade, delivering research that addresses the question of why birds use gardens and the impact this use has on their ecology. He is an Associate Director at the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), responsible for science communication. Much of his work is geared towards public engagement in Citizen Science, delivering quality research through networks of keen amateurs. Mike is a regular contributor to BBC Wildlife magazine, a columnist for the Eastern Daily Press and author of several books, including several on garden birds and, most recently, the Collins New Naturalist volume on owls. He is a Trustee of Norfolk Wildlife Trust and part of the New Networks for Nature steering group.