Across the British countryside, bird’s nests are filled with clutches of newly hatched chicks.
The arrival of spring is traditionally the time when eggs, which have been carefully nurtured and protected by mothers, begin to hatch and newborns like these grey partridges tentatively make their way into the world.
These particular chicks are currently on display at Leeds City Museum as part of the For All Seasons exhibition, which explores have the myriad of different effects the changing seasons have on the world around us.
Alongside other baby animals, the partridge chicks are used to illustrate spring and its pivotal role in the life cycle of most of our wildlife.
Female grey partridges lay large clutches of eggs, with young birds feeding on small insects, making it harder for them to survive in areas where pesticides are used.
Ruth Martin, Leeds City Museum’s curator of exhibitions, said:
“We often associate the arrival of spring with new life and that’s certainly true for a lot of animals in Britain.
“But spring can also be a tough time for newborn animals and their parents when the race for food and survival is at its most critical.
“The changing seasons are probably the most powerful influence on the natural world and dictate what plants, birds and animals we see around us every day.”
For All Seasons can be found in Leeds City Museum’s special exhibitions gallery and is free to enter.
As well as a spectacular variety of wildlife, other objects on display to illustrate spring, summer, autumn and winter include 100 year-old decorative Easter eggs, delicate ceramics, paintings and historic seasonal fashions as well as paintings by Leeds artists John Atkinson Grimshaw.
They are displayed around imaginative centrepieces including a giant sandcastle, indoor tree, traditional sledge and hook-a-duck pond.
The exhibition is also accompanied by specially-recorded classical piano sheet music from the museum’s collection.
Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said:
“I’m sure visitors and families will have a lot of fun exploring the many features that make spring, summer, autumn and winter so unique and learning how they come together to shape our year.”
For All Seasons runs until August 28. For more details about the exhibition and the programme of activities, please visit: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries/Pages/Seasons.aspx