House sparrow

Today in town I noticed these little birds running around parking lots and underneath tables and chairs in restaurants. They don’t like to live far away from human civilization probably because of easy food access.

female HShouse sparrow

house SPA

It was introduced to South Africa and don’t confuse it with the cape sparrow.As you can see the cape sparrow has black and white head where as the house sparrow has a grey and black head.

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The need for water

Every year we create more holes in the ozone layer which results in the world becoming warmer and warmer.Water is precious (especially in hotter countries) and every living thing depends on it. With many natural habitats shrinking, birds are in need of water too. So I decided to give you some ideas on how to make your garden a better habitat for birds.

  1. A pond

One of the easiest and most well known ways to bring a larger water source into the garden is to build a pond. Ponds come in many different styles and sizes whether it be a concrete, natural or with a fountain and with the right plants you should be able to attract wildlife.

pond 2pond3pond 1

To create the best habitat add plant life in the water ( water lilies, pond weeds) and plants surrounding the pond ( reeds, bulrushes, other plants that like having wet feet). The pond, if left alone, will establish itself and attract frogs, insects and  water animals or you could introduce your own fish.

Remember:

  • ensure that your pond has a shallow side that slopes down. This will give birds the chance to bath in the water without drowning. If your pond does not have the ability to slope, add a large rock half submerged in water to also create a perching spot as also with a branch sticking out of the water.

2. Wetlands

Wetlands are most likely not as common as the pond in the garden. They require more space but it does not mean it is difficult to maintain. A pond is normally an open, deep body of water where as the wetland tends to be shallower with more vegetation covering the water.

wetland-1wetland reeds

Wetlands work with a fill and drain system. To make a wetland you need to dig a hole roundabout 75cm deep and minimum of 2 m wide. Cover the bottom of the hole with pond liner. Make small holes in the pond liner and fill the hole with all the ground that was excavated. If you can, put a pond next to the wetland that  overflows slowly into the wetland, keeping it constantly wet.Otherwise connect your rain pipes or a hose that leaks to the wetland. Lastly, plant plants that like wet soil and many others that are suitable for a wetland.

 3. The birdbath 

Last but not least, the easiest and probably cheapest… the birdbath!

bird bather birdbath

Again these can come in many different styles and sizes. A simple and practical way to ensure that the birds in your garden get water. Many birds come to bird baths to drink or bath. You can make your own bird bath out of a shallow dish or even a rock with dips and dents in it. Fill these with water daily and the birds will love you for it.

So bring a water feature into your garden and create a better habitat for the birds.

Pin-tailed Whydah

pin-tailed-whydah-finch-55c2356420807female whydah

Male whydah                                                       Female whydah       

Today I saw a molting male pin-tailed Whydah.  It was hogging the feeding table and I noticed brown colour showing through the black and white feathers. It turns out that the males, after the breeding season, will lose their long tail feathers and molt into the colours of the female though they keep their red beaks. (females have brown beaks.)

Hello!

Hi,

This is my first time creating a blog and as you can see the main topic for this blog is: birds. Whether it be my birds, your birds, wild birds or anything got to do with birds (even if its got hardly anything to do with birds) that’s what it’s about. This is rather going to be like my bird journal so that’s all I’ve got to say for now 🙂