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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 marion davidson from Scotland
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
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.
A nesting pouch for birds filled with yarn and dog hair.
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, colored pieces of string or yarn, dryer lint and shredded paper strips.
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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
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 jan king
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 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)
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 Carol W.
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)