Wildlife In Summer – Deciduous Woodland


Looking for wildlife in summer is fantastic due to the beautiful weather, and there is little better than walking around the woods on a hot day. Deciduous trees are trees that shed their leaves every year. Deciduous trees include oak, maple, birch, willow, and poplar trees, among many others.

Birds, including Flycatchers, Redstarts, Nuthatches, Warblers, and woodpeckers, can be found in deciduous forests where they feed on the abundant insects. Fox cubs take their first steps outside of their den, and badgers can be seen feeding at night. Wild blackberries and strawberries can be seen growing, although these usually end up as a meal for the animals.

If you want to know more about some of the wildlife in deciduous forests, please read on.

Redstart

Birds

Summer is a fantastic time to spot many birds as they can be seen feeding on the abundant insects that summer brings. Birds that mainly eat seeds will also feed on insects during summer as they are much easier to find than seeds.

The Redstart is a migrant bird that spends its winters in Africa before spending its summer in European woodlands. They take advantage of the enormous amounts of insects and can be seen flying from their perch to catch flies or eat insects on the ground.

Redstarts can be spotted by listening to their song. Their song is a loud whistle followed by shorter, almost ticking sounds. You may also see them moving their tails up and down high up in leafy trees.

The Nuthatch is another bird that can be seen in summer. They nest in hollow trees and can move up and down the trunk to catch insects.

Pied flycatchers can also be seen in deciduous woodland, although they can be hard to spot due to their bold markings.

Mammals

Summer is a fantastic time to spot wildlife, and many mammals can be seen finding food for their young. If you are lucky, you may spot some young mammals venturing out of the safety of their homes for the first time.

During summer, Fox cubs come out of their dens to play and learn from their parents. While fox cubs feed on milk for the first few weeks, they soon need to hunt for themselves. During summer, they can often be seen with their parents.

Deciduous woods are also home to badgers. It is an excellent season for badgers as they can find plenty of food in the woods, especially in a wet summer. Badgers love to eat slugs and earthworms, although they will also feed on fruits and berries found in the woods. If you see scratch marks on the earth, this could indicate that a badger is near.

Many small mammals can also be heard scurrying around the woods. Wood mice only come out at night to find food, so you may not see them during the day. In summer, wood mice make their nests in holes in the ground or hollow trees for their young. Wood mice feed on seeds, flowers, fruits, and insects found in abundance in summer.

Another nighttime animal that you may spot is bats. They can often be seen flying and swooping to fill up on insects. Bats usually breed in summer, so you may see some young bats at this time.

Do you know what wildlife lives in summer meadows?  Find out here

Sycamore

Plants

Deciduous woodland is full of trees and plants. Deciduous trees include oak, maple, ash, birch, aspen, beech, willow, poplar and sycamore.

Sycamore leaves, which grow first in spring, change from fresh, green leaves to duller, thicker leaves. Sycamore is very widespread due to its seeds. The helicopter shape allows the seeds to spread everywhere. Many deciduous trees grow a thick canopy, which can stop the light from reaching the woodland floor.

Berries are an essential part of many animals’ diets, and many woodland flowers and shrubs produce edible berries. Insects can often be seen flying around them, which helps them to pollinate and produce their fruit.

Wild blackberries can be found in many woods and attract butterflies, bees, and other insects. Wild strawberries can also be found along sunny banks and paths where the sun shines.

Flowers such as foxgloves can be found in areas where the sun reaches the floor, and glades can often be multicoloured with many flowers, including geranium, hydrangea and azalea.

Insects

Summer is filled with insects, and although we may find them annoying from time to time, they are essential.

Many butterflies can be seen in the hot summer weather. The purple emperor is a large butterfly with a beautiful purple sheen on its wings. The males show off their colours by sitting in sunny places and opening and closing their wings.

Speckled wood butterflies can often be seen fighting over the sunniest areas. They will drive their rivals away from their territories and can be seen fluttering around each other.

Many other flying insects found in the woodland include dragonflies, mosquitoes, bees, wasps, and moths. These are all an essential part of the food web, although unfortunately, they are near the bottom of the food chain.

Do you know how insects avoid predators?  Find out in this article I wrote

Reptiles

Deciduous forests are suitable for reptiles due to their humidity and can be home to many species of reptiles. In Britain, the adder, grass snake, smooth snake, common lizard, sand lizard, and slow worm can all be found in deciduous forests.

Although these live in coniferous forests as well, the humidity makes deciduous forests much more pleasant to live in.

Because of the thick tree canopy, reptiles do not have to worry about the sun’s direct heat.

Amphibians

Although amphibians need water or moist conditions to thrive, the humidity of deciduous forests makes them a suitable place to migrate to in summer.

Toads are active in summer following their breeding season, which ends in May or June. Although they need to be near a water source, rainfall is usually enough to keep toads from getting too hot or drying out.

Frogs also need to be near a water source but can be found in deciduous forests in summer.

Summer in a pine wood is my favourite.  Find what wildlife you may spot here.

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