Christmas trees are not only favoured by us this time of the year, but are more important to little birds. Coniferous trees offer good shelter for insects and small animals. They stay dry and are protected against the elements.
At the start of this month Gijsbert Twigt found a Humes Leaf Warbler at the Sportlaan. A rare winter visitor that normally winters in India. The bird has its routine to check the pine trees along the Sportlaan and so do other insect eating birds. A nominate and Siberian Chiffchaff find small insects here too, mainly greenfly.
These insect eating birds almost need to eat to their own weight every day, about 8 grams. They bounce around in the trees, checking every branch and picking up these tiny bugs as they go (see the inside of the bill of this Siberian Chiffchaff).
So if you ever want a Humes Leaf Warbler or Siberian Chiffchaff in your garden, consider buying a Blue Spruce next Christmas and plant it in our garden. Note, you only risk that you got birders and photographers hanging around all day if it works out.