ZINIO logo
BBC Wildlife Magazine

BBC Wildlife Magazine June 2020

BBC Wildlife Magazine is a celebration of the natural world, featuring all the latest discoveries, news and views on wildlife, conservation and environmental issues. With strong broadcasting links, authoritative journalism and award-winning photography, BBC Wildlife Magazine is essential reading for anyone with a passion for wildlife who wants to understand, experience and enjoy nature more.

Read More
United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
can you dig it?

Summer’s here, and though the time isn’t yet right for dancing in the street, it’s perfect for getting out in the garden. One of the hottest topics that readers ask us about is how to get more wildlife on their plots. So, we’ve assembled an inestimable panel of experts to answer your questions, and offer their advice on how to go completely wild at home. If this issue leaves you gasping for more, download our free Garden for Wildlife digital magazine, full of top tips, projects and expert advice – see page 22 to find out how to get your copy. There’s a prize* for anyone who manages to encourage anything as spectacular as this burrowing owl into their garden. It may seem unlikely, but that’s exactly what’s been happening on an island…

1 min.
the people behind our stories

GILLIAN BURKE The Springwatch presenter shares her thoughts on how lockdown will affect this year’s programme. “There has never been a more important time to bring nature to our screens,” says Gillian. See p34 KATE BRADBURY Gardening guru Kate is on hand with top tips for creating wildlife-friendly habitats at home, no matter what kind of space you have. Her advice? “If mammals and amphibians can’t access the garden, focus on birds and insects.” See p40 STUART BLACKMAN When it comes to intellect, the animal kingdom offers plenty of candidates for top of the class, as science writer Stuart uncovers: “Intelligence doesn’t necessarily require a brain or even a nervous system.” See p64 KARINE AIGNER Photographer Karine got to know Florida’s burrowing owls and the people protecting them. “This is a perfect example of what people can…

1 min.
in focus

Totally tropical Bryde’s whale isn’t keen on the cold. It’s the only baleen species to stay in warm waters all year, giving rise to its alternative name of ‘tropical whale’. The Azores, where this shot was taken, is about as far north as a Bryde’s will go – and even then, it’s pushing it: the species was only officially recorded here 16 years ago. Bryde’s may be a giant among giants – it belongs to the rorqual family, alongside the blue, fin and sei whales – but is not opposed to company from common dolphins when chasing schooling fish. Out with the old If you happen to have the attention of a scientist and a photographer, there’s no better opportunity to show exactly what you’re made of. This western whip snake in Chizé,…

4 min.

1 | MARSH FRITILLARY Fussy customers Sailing low over a flowery meadow or hillside in hot June sun, this is one of our most impressive butterflies. Its stunning chequered wings, resplendent in orange, yellow and brown, look like miniature stained-glass windows. However, the fritillary family are known for being as fussy as they are fabulous. As Britain’s farming landscapes have changed beyond recognition since World War II, such picky habitat preferences have often translated into dramatic losses. The marsh fritillary (here seen on a spotted heath orchid) is now a great rarity. This lovely insect needs lush grasslands where a patchwork of tussocky grass has been grazed by cattle to differing heights, with plenty of flowers such as buttercups and thistles. There must also be devil’s-bit scabious, a pretty lilac flower on whose…

3 min.
mike dilger’s wildlife watching

With around 6.2 million hectares designated for crop production, arable farmland must surely be one of the UK’s most abundant terrestrial habitats. But with the majority of fields currently little more than large, featureless monocultures, the number of places capable of supporting a wide variety of arable flora and fauna has unsurprisingly become worryingly low. Crops such as wheat, barley, oats, sugar beet and potatoes have been cultivated to feed the nation for millennia. Until as recently as the 1960s and 1970s, they were largely grown using traditional farming methods, and the arable fields created niches for a range of ‘weeds’, such as corn marigold, corncockle and various poppies. Many of these colourful plants are in fact ancient introductions, or archaeophytes. The accidental, now cherished aliens are thought to date right…

1 min.
species to look out for

Corn bunting Similar to a skylark in size, our largest bunting is likewise streaky by nature, but with a hefty, straw-coloured bill. Its song is often likened to a jangling bunch of keys. The species’ population has crashed by 90 per cent since 1970, but it is still locally common in dry, open farmland, particularly in eastern England and Scotland. Yellowhammer This farmland bird is widespread and slightly larger than a chaffinch. The spring male, with his sunflower-yellow head and breast, brightens up many a hedgerow. His famous ‘little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheese’ song remains a familiar soundtrack across farmland in central and eastern England and eastern Scotland. Harvest mouse This mouse competes with the pygmy shew and pipistrelle bats for the title of Britain’s tiniest mammal. It is golden-brown with a white belly, but its standout feature is…