This cute video was recently brought to our attention that showed an adorable titmouse gleaning soft hairs from a Golden Retriever’s backside–while he continued to sleep! Birds definitely love animal hair as soft lining for their nests. It seems they can’t get enough of it! So it was just a thought that the next time you brush your dog in the winter, collect the stray hairs and save them in a bag, so that spring comes, you can supply your birds with this delightful nesting material. Cat hair, horse hair, goat hair and rabbit fur all work equally well!
What other items are frequently found in nests? Unfortunately, plastic products and even plastic bags can make their way into birds’ nests. The obvious solution here is to keep the yard picked up and scout the roadside in front of your house and remove possibly unpleasant additions to your birds’ nests.
But other “good” materials that birds appreciate for nests are string, thread, yarn, feathers, moss, grasses, cotton batting or natural cotton, Spanish moss, sphagnum moss, and fine vines. If you knit or sew, save the yarn and thread bits in a basket or bag. When you’re cleaning the yard and pulling vines from fences or the like, save these also–you get the idea.
Birds begin nesting in about March, so be on time with the goodies. You can put them out in a suet basket or an onion bag. The birds aren’t fussy! And of course you can also consider purchasing nesting materials for the birds. Here is a link to Duncraft’s full selection. Enjoy collecting!