April wildlife – waking up from hibernation

Cherry Blossom

April showers there may be but spring is full steam ahead now. There’s a flourish of green buds in the hedgerows, cherry blossoms are in bloom, the mornings are lighter and with them come the greetings of a multitude of birds, marking the start of a new day.

Keep your eyes peeled for brimstone butterflies

If you’re fortunate enough, you may spy the brimstone butterfly with its delicate, leaf-shaped wings. The brimstone overwinters in foliage and emerges on warm spring days. One of the first to make its appearance, like the orange tip, it is thought that butterflies get their name from the brimstone’s beautiful butter-coloured wings.

Hibernation ends as the weather begins to warm

Bats are now waking up, ravenous for food. We have 18 species in the UK, 17 of which breed here. These mammals can eat up to a phenomenal 1200 insects in one hour, darting through the sky using their large ears to echolocate and source their prey. Bats are a primary predator of mosquitoes. It is the humble bat that significantly reduces the amount of mosquito bites we get on those lazy summer evenings.

Hedgehogs also come out of hibernation around now. The hedgehog is armed with anywhere between five and seven thousand spines. These keratin containing protuberances protect it from potential predators as it rolls up into a ball. Hear them snuffling about noisily in the garden, munching away on slugs, earthworms and millipedes.

Do: Encourage a wide variety of flowers in the garden; the greater the diversity of plants, the greater the variety of visiting insects, and the more food for bats, hedgehogs and birds.

Get involved: City nature challenge https://citynaturechallenge.org/

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