If you wish to put out nesting materials for wild birds, do your homework first and be certain that they are indeed safe and beneficial for the birds.
I may receive a commission if you purchase something mentioned in a link on this post for shopping sites. Other links may go to websites where I have been paid to write a blog or article. See the entire disclosure here.
I’m always looking for ways to not only encourage birds to visit my garden but to make them comfortable enough to stay a while. To feel secure, birds like access to trees, shrubs, flowers, and any other items they can safely perch, hide, rest, and nest upon.
Besides providing various types of bird feeders, seed, and water, you can also offer nesting boxes and nesting material.
As mentioned, this idea requires research first to ensure anything you offer is safe. Birds may be attracted to things like yarn that, if the pieces are too long, can become entangled on their feet and cause terrible problems or death.
Please take these ideas as suggestions to be investigated only.
After years of doing this, my advice is to stick with all-natural materials.
I look up my questions at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and do other research until I’m satisfied with the information. But, that said, things change as we learn more about birds.
This spring I’ve been putting out various nesting materials free for the taking. It’s quite fun watch a bird come along, and gather a bundle of dog hair to include in their nest construction.
I also collect small sticks and twigs, which I keep in a bug hotel, and these are often used by a variety of animals including birds and squirrels.
Materials to Offer
Here’s some suggestions for nesting material
- dry grass
- dog hair
- dry leaves
- shredded paper
You can place these items in
- suet feeders
- kitchen whisks
- any little cage-like thingy that the birds can securely perch upon and shop from
There are have been too many reports of yarn and ribbon getting tangled around bird’s feet so these are no longer recommended.
Dryer lint can contain harmful chemical from laundry products, nano plastic particles, and synthetics:
- dryer lint
I first got this idea while watching the BBC show Gardeners’ World during a segment featuring Wildlife Kate. You can see her website and bird cams here: http://www.wildlifekate.co.uk/ . She’s got a garden packed with ideas for keeping the birds and other wildlife happy.
Window Nesting Box
- Three Suction Cups Provide Stable Mounting (Clean Window Prior to Mounting)
- Educational and Fun
- Handcrafted from Eastern White Pine
- 9″h x 6-1/4″w x 5″d
- Made in Maine
- See the Coveside Window Nest Box
No matter what, please make choices you know are safe for the birds and when in doubt, just leave them be.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛