February sees winter’s survivors on the move in search of food, while the fittest birds flaunt their superiority with courtship displays.
If a small bird has survived the winter up to now, it has done well. February birds have proved themselves resilient and resourceful, and are three quarters of the way to entering the forthcoming breeding season alive.
But this second month of the year does not reach out and shake these high achievers by the hand. Far from it – the last and most insidious threat to their welfare only now begins to bite. At this time of year, on top of the pressure wrought by long, freezing nights and unreliable days, food supplies in the wild begin to run out.