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Providing Nesting Materials to Birds

Nesting Supplies to Birds
You can use items around your home to make holders for nesting material and then fill them with safe nesting supplies. This is a guide about providing nesting supplies to birds.


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March 30, 2009

At this time of year, your dog will be starting to shed its winter coat. Save all the 'fluff' and hair you remove and put it in hedges or wherever is handiest. The birds love it for lining their nests! Alternatively, if you have lots, stuff it into one of these fatty ball containers and hang by your bird table.

Source: We've always done this, although the idea of using a container came from a bird seed catalog.

By Skinnyjinny from Scotland

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March 30, 20090 found this helpful

Thank you for your tip, I have just bought a nesting box, a pair of blue tits are showing some interest in it so I'm hoping it will soon be occupied. Seeds water and a fur lined nest, what more could they want!

Lanky Liz from Scotland

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March 30, 20090 found this helpful

I've done this for many years and my birds love it. I spread it around to different areas and even in the woods surounding my home. Don't know for sure but I swear the same birds came back to same nest.

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April 1, 20090 found this helpful

What a great idea! I have an Akita mix with a double coat, and furminate him every few weeks. The neighborhood birds are going to love me!

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April 1, 20090 found this helpful

fatty ball container? whuzzat?

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April 1, 20090 found this helpful

Fatty Ball Container:-D

It is a container which holds 'fatty balls' which we can buy over here for the wild birds. See picture: from a catalogue not from my garden; although I have had several birds feeding at one time!

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April 2, 20090 found this helpful

Hey, thanks for the reminder - I have a coffee can full of dryer lint to put out for the same purpose.

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April 4, 20090 found this helpful

Funny, I started doing this with my little doggies fluffy downy soft curls. Honey is a poo-mix and his

hair is soft so when I trim him I stick it in a plastic baggie and when it is filled I take it across the field to where the trees are so birdies can make nests. Feels nice to share with the creatures of earth.

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January 7, 20120 found this helpful

Have already started saving the lint from my dryer for this very purpose!

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February 22, 20130 found this helpful

One time my big Bouvier, Annie the Orphan Dog, was taking a nap on the lawn, a small bird hopped over and grabbed a gob of her fur and flew off. She woke up and was looking around, like "what was that?" We had nesting boxes nailed to trees and we'd see the birds come and go with Annie fur in their beaks. We finally got a ladder and peeked in the boxes, they were lined with her fur. I would Furminate her on the lawn so there was lots of fluff. The birds really made out and their eggs had a soft nest.

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By 6 found this helpful
September 28, 2010

Provide nesting material for songbirds - for free! Make a basket out of wire. I recommend a smaller mesh than chicken wire - half-inch "hardware cloth" works well. Include a mesh lid to keep the contents from blowing away.

What are the contents? The lint that comes out of your clothes dryer. Birds will use it in building their nests, just as they use any random scraps of fiber or cloth. You have a lifetime supply of material at no cost to you.

Hang the basket in a location where birds can see it, but which is not constantly traveled by humans. (Brightly-colored lint or scraps in the mix will help attract birds).

If you have a dog or cat, add in the hair you brush off of them (no, it won't scare birds away; they use the same stuff in the wild). Pet hair keeps your pets warm; it will do the same for baby birds.


By Rev. Bowers from Wurtsboro, NY

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October 2, 20100 found this helpful

I would be careful with the lint. If it gets wet, the nest could fall apart.

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March 3, 20130 found this helpful

I've read that dryer lint should not be used if you have used dryer sheets because of the fragrances in the dryer sheets. Human hair & pet fur is great. Just give a few more seconds to think about what you are putting out for the birds to use.

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April 5, 20170 found this helpful

I think the birds know what they're doing regarding their nests! :)

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By 3 found this helpful
April 4, 2012

We enjoy watching birds build their nests and raise their little ones in the nest boxes, trees, and shrubs in our yard. My fondness for growing plants and flowers has turned out to be quite beneficial to the birds searching for nesting material. The lack of rain over the passed few summers has caused me to find creative ways to grow some of my plants and flowers.

Last summer, I planted some hen and chicks and various other succulents in a moss lined basket. The plants have thrived and continue to grow beautifully while the birds are enjoying the convenience of having the baskets nearby so that they can use pieces of the basket to construct their nests. I added a larger basket to my flower garden this year and planted petunias in it. The birds have already discovered this new source of building supplies.

By VeronicaHB

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April 9, 20120 found this helpful

The ideas are good I did a search on Google and found more pictures of these type of

planters. They look so nice in the yard.

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April 9, 20120 found this helpful

Here are more pictures This is a old gutter made into a planter and hung under a window.

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April 12, 2010

This is a nesting pouch for birds filled with yarn and dog hair. Cut a rectangle out of hardware cloth, about 16 inches long and 6 inches wide. Now fold it in two and press the folded end down to make a crease. Take heavy yarn, start on one side and just pull the yarn through the open squares one at a time.

Now it is ready to hang in a bush or tree. I used a three ply yarn and pulled the short pieces into 3 thinner strands.

By Great Granny Vi

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April 20, 20100 found this helpful

This is a very cute idea except we should only put out natural biodegradable yarn (like cotton, wool, bamboo, ramie & silk) for the birds because synthetic yarn is can not be digested & won't biodegrade. My vet told me she is always doing surgery on pets that get yarn stuck in their intestines, so I would think it could happen to a wild animal as well.

For those of you who still leave synthetic yarn for birds, please cut it into tiny pieces so it's safer & they don't get tangled in it. Also, unfortunately, I worry about a bird getting stuck in that grid pattern, as another ThriftyFun person posted a warning about a bird's foot getting caught in a net feeder made from an onion bag she had made.

I am sorry about my negative post, because I love your cute idea! Maybe I'm just paranoid because my cat had to have $800 surgery because of something like this that he ate.

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February 25, 20160 found this helpful

Please do not put out yarn, thread, etc., for birds!!! The baby birds entangle their feet in the yarn and thread and are not able to free themselves!!!!

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By 2 found this helpful
June 9, 2011

I have several wire feeders that I put suet cakes in during the Winter to feed the birds. Just as nesting season comes, I fill them with cut hair (from the beauty shop or that I trim myself), colored pieces of string or yarn, dryer lint and shredded paper strips. I hang them in the same places that I did the suet. That way the nesting materials don't blow away in the wind. The birds are attracted to the colors red and blue.

By Nightsong from Yates Center, KS

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 28, 20100 found this helpful

Don't throw away all that hair that you brush off your dog. I place mine in the yard and the squirrels, chipmunks and birds go crazy using it for nesting materials. Since I have two German SHEDDERS *G* we have a lot of fur to share.

Note: I have no idea how the birds would react to cat hair! *g*.

By Christine from Sterling, Virginia


Place Dog Hair In Your Yard For Nesting Material

We do the same thing with our pooch's hair. Kato aka The Wonder Dog is a LONG haired GSD and a "fur factory"! He's feathered many a nest in the neighborhood! (02/27/2008)

By javajano

Cat hair works, too!

I couldn't help but giggle when I read your posting. Several years ago I had the bright idea to put some of my Persian kitties' fur outside for the birds to "harvest," and to my surprise and joy, they went for it! The fur disappeared quickly from the area where I had spread it out, and to my delight, after springtime, I was able to salvage a birdnest that a bird had built under our carport and it had my cat's hair in it! I was thrilled!

I kept that birdnest for a couple years, until we moved into our new house and my husband said I needed to "let it go." But I can promise you that yes, the birds WILL use cat-hair. Who would have thought! lol This is my cat Baby in the photo, under the couch table. (02/27/2008)

By themusiclady

Cat hair works, too!

Place Dog Hair In Your Yard For Nesting Material

Oh - oh. We have two of those 'GSDers' as well. the standing joke here is that I can collect a shitz-tu in one sweeping. I try to do a lot of the brushing while out on walks somewhere - preferably windy. (02/27/2008)

By solus

Place Dog Hair In Your Yard For Nesting Material

When she has her major sheddings twice a year, my best friend Liza ( a mix of Australian shepherd + border collie + ? ) "shares her abundant wealth" SORRY AGAIN!! (02/28/2008)

By macheart

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