Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A nesting material basket for the birds



Encourage birds to not just visit but live in your garden by offering food (bird feeder), fresh water (bird bath) a nest box or two, and nesting material.

I'm getting ready for springtime, the nest-building time for the birds in Myrtle Glen, by offering combed-out soft fur from Sam, our German Shepherd Dog.

I like this seed cake feeder box I got at the pet store








gave Sam a good brushing and stuffed the fur in the box





hang it up and hopefully the birds will use it to line their nests to be soft and cushioned for their babies.

Besides with dog hair, you may fill the nesting basket with human hair, wool/yarn pieces cut in short segments (about 4  to 5 inches long), thin strips of cloth, some shredded paper not heavily dyed and cotton balls, just to name a few.


ready for the birds

Nesting material is naturally available in the yard such as twigs and sticks, leaves, grass clippings, moss, lichen, dried plumes on the ornamental grasses, but if not, collect those and lay them out for your birds.


grow cotton for the birds ;)



Please note: I would not offer the dog hair if the dog had a flea treatment. I also won't use dryer lint,  or anything plastic.



Added March 2012:

Here you see a simple offering of different colored knitting yarn in a feeder basket (in my Mom's garden). She hangs it close to the bird houses, single- and multi-family homes with furniture close by ;)





19 comments:

  1. What a good idea - my Cats hair might work well for this! When do you put this out - beginning of Spring?

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  2. ist eine gute idee das mache ich auch

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  3. Christine, I would hang it out as soon as it is time for the birds to look for nesting places. Here in Florida I hang it out this time of year, January :-)

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  4. Lass mich wissen ob ich dir so einen Futterkuchen-Kaefig mitbringen soll :-)

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  5. Danke, also schon bevor der Frühling richtig anfängt. :)

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  6. Du bist Deutsch? ich sitze hier mit einem Grinsen von Ohr zu Ohr und freu mich!!
    Viele liebe Gruesse von Florida nach Afrika :-)

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  7. :)

    Meine Eltern sind beide Deutch (aus Hamburg). Ich bin geborene Südafrikanerin, also Deutsche Südafrikanerin!
    Viele liebe Grüsse aus Kapstadt, Südafrika

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  8. I used to use my Samoyed's fur too. I would just throw it out into the garden in great big white balls of fur and within an hour not a strand was left. I think every bird in the city had a luxuriously soft white fur nest. I was always amazed to see the birds carrying off tufts bigger than them.

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  9. oooh, a Samoyed *sigh*.... I bet any bird with his/her fur as nest liner is envied by all other birds.
    I do put all Sam's combed out fur onto the compost heap, up for grabs for all animals.

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  10. You've changed your template :) Aha, now I know what I can do with my dog's fur! My Coco is a mixed breed short-haired gal and all this time, I've been throwing her fur away or adding to the compost :) I'll collect some and put into my plastic bottle feeder.

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  11. Yes, I keep changing the look of the blog, I just did not find THE look yet *laughs* ... and already I am eyeing a different template yet again...

    so far the birds here still go to the compost heap and did not accept the nicely filled cage I am offering. I hope you have better luck.

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  12. What a great idea! It looks so nice and soft for birds' nests. I'll have to do that with my cats' hair. I love how you put it in the suet feeder for easy access by the birds!

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  13. the suet feeder made the most sense to me, since I am a bit worried the birds would get their feet stuck in the netting material I have seen being used.
    Also, I like the little roof, it keeps the nesting material somewhat dry.

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  14. Well, I've heard of putting cotton string out, etc., but not dog hair! Ingenious!

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  15. I saw a vendor selling the combed out wool of her Alpacas for nesting material, but she wanted $25 for a small pile. Dog hair is cheaper ;-)

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  16. I use the same vessel, a suet feeder and stuff it full of scrap yarn in various colors. In the spring, our grandchildren and I look to see how many different colors we can find incorporated into the nests.

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  17. What a neat idea to use different colored yarn, and what a great way to connect kids with Nature :)

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  18. Nice blog. Great pics.

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  19. Thanks for the compliment, much appreciated :-)

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