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British Garden Birds is dedicated to helping garden birdwatchers to identify and enjoy the birds that visit their gardens, and to understand the birds' lives and behaviour.

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This month... Did you know?
July is when waterfowl, like Mallards, lose all of their flight feathers at once and so cannot fly. This would put the colourful males at risk from predators so they acquire an "eclipse" plumage that makes them look like females and offers better camouflage. Other garden birds will also soon start moulting and some, like the Robin, can be quite retiring. After they have finished the exhausting job of rearing their young, adult birds start to replace their worn and faded feathers in a process called moulting. Also, in a few months, many of this year's juveniles will start to get their adult plumage and some species, like the Starling, can look very strange with some juvenile feathers and some adult ones.
Vote now! Things to do...
Vote Now! (Opens in new window)A recent major review of systemic pesticides (more >>) has revealed they are harming beneficial insects, which in turn most likely affects birds, perhaps explains the decline in Spotted Flycatchers and other insectivorous birds. Do you use pesticides? Vote now! Look out for moulted feathers and see if you can work out the bird from which they came. Also, take a very close look at the feather through a magnifying glass or microscope and you'll see the little hooks that hold the barbs together. More >>

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