At no other time of year is our native wildlife so greatly celebrated, evocative images of robins in the snow adorn Christmas cards and lovers kiss under the mistletoe. JFA Ecologists share some wildlife winter wonders here.
At no other time of year is our native wildlife most greatly celebrated than at Christmas when we see evocative images of robins in the snow and hang up mistletoe in our homes. Our Ecologists at JFA would like to share with you some winter wonders about our native wildlife this Christmas for you to enjoy along with a mince pie and glass of mulled wine.
Have you noticed the vibrant red holly berries at this time of year? If you have, then you are looking at a female holly plant. Holly is termed as dioecious, meaning that individual plants bear flowers that are either male or female. These berries provide an important food source for birds at this tough time of year.
Did you know that the robin was declared as Britain’s National Bird on December 15th 1960? The robin is undoubtedly one of the most treasured birds in the UK and data from the British Trust for Ornithology Bird Trends report (2014) show their numbers have increased markedly since the mid 1980’s.
Mistetoe Viscum album is known as a hemi-parasitic plant that grows on a wide range of host trees in Britain from which it absorbs water and nutrients. This parasitic relationship can cause death of the host plant, but the presence of mistletoe attracts greater numbers of berry-eating birds to a tree which spread tree seeds and leads to more trees. It’s a tricky balance.
Once see in great numbers and currently decreasing, hedgehogs are actually one of the few mammals that are true hibernators. During hibernation, they drop their temperature to match their surroundings and enter a state of torpor allowing them to save energy in times of food shortage.
The male red deer are known as stags and female red deer are called hinds. Stags are distinguished by the presence of antlers, which are shed at the end of winter and begin growing again in spring.
Unit 15 The Barn, Evegate Business Park, Station Road,
Smeeth, Kent, TN25 6SX
0845 226 3618