Nesting Materials Attract Birds

Duncraft Nesting Material Hamper

Putting up bird houses is a great way to bring nesting birds into your yard. And it helps the birds by providing nesting spots that are sometimes difficult for birds to find, especially if there is a lot of competition for those spots in the area.

Some birds nest in cavities, such as old woodpecker holes in trees or in natural cavities caused by broken-off branches. These are the birds that will also use a nesting box or bird house. But many other birds build open-cupped nests in the branches of a tree or shrub, or build specialized nests such as the hanging bag-like nest the orioles make.

No matter what types nests your birds build,  almost all of them use soft materials that dry quickly to line their nests. You can help all your birds by providing natural cotton fibers, feathers, aspen fibers, or even Spanish moss. Birds will also use fresh green moss as well as string, animal hair and pine needles in their nests.

Duncraft makes it easy for you to provide nesting materials for your birds. You can simply hang a bag of natural cotton fibers from a branch. Or you can use a hanging nesting basket filled with cotton and then refill it with cotton or other nesting materials such as aspen fibers and Spanish moss. One very popular option is a set of three grapevine balls filled with cotton. These are also refillable!

You’ll love watching the birds come and go as they pull out tufts of materials to carry back to their nesting site. And by offering the proper materials that provide the softest lining, the best insulation, and the driest nests, you’ll be ensuring that your baby birds have the best chance at survival. And next year these same babies will return to build nests of their own in your backyard!

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  • Beca - Who Loves Gardens April 5, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I LOVE this idea of using the suet feeder for nesting materials. This is something I am definitely going to do!

  • Joyce Thompson April 9, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    If you haven’t heard, you should visit and watch as a pair of Bald Eagles care for their babies. The nest is in Decorah, Iowa at a fish hatchery and Luther College has live camera stream. It is awesome .

  • Carolyn Ellertson January 29, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Many years ago, I lived in the San Juan Islands, where there are many eagles. I lost the sale of a valuable piece of property because it had a documented eagle nest on it that had been used continuously for over 24 years with the exception of two years. The powers that track them even knew the reasons why! One year, someone started up a power saw just as the mother was bringing a fish to her babies. She dropped it and flew away. I guess she never took care of them after that. The other time, uhmm, the mating pair fell into the water before getting the job done. In case you have never heard it, eagles mate in the air! The thing that surprised me was that the regional office that had all that information was in Idaho.. I lived in Washington State!! Some birdwatchers were on their toes for a very long time with regard to their bird reporting. Interestingly enough, I now live about 45 minutes north of Portland, Oregon. On my way home past the little town of Woodland (right on the I-5 corridor, with the Lewis River intersecting) this week, I saw two bald eagles in a tree by the air strip. Their white heads shown like beacons in the still leafless trees. Beautiful! Had not seen one for years, and it was a treat..

  • Keven Ellis March 9, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I save all my little clippings from sewing…batting, threads, material to put in my suet feeder cage. I just don’t know when to put it out. I’ve been saving all winter. I do have a basket full of goodies for nests.

  • Duncraft March 9, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Hi Keven,
    It depends where you live. The more south you are, the earlier birds are going to be making nests. We’re in the Northeast. I think some birds will be in the process of nest-building by the end of March.

  • Claudia Pedersen March 9, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    I have a cat that’s long haired and sheds profusely this time of year.
    Would this fur be of any use to a nesting bird? I think I saw a small
    bird pick up a tuft from the grass beneath it’s feeder and fly away.

  • Duncraft March 10, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Hi Claudia,
    I’m sure the birds would love the cat hair. You can put it out in something like a suet basket, snag it on the rough bark of trees or just let it go on the lawn. The birds will find it!