Providing Nesting Materials 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 page about providing nesting supplies to birds.


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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.

Photo added by editor.

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

By marion davidson from Scotland

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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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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.

Hen and Chicks

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A nesting pouch for birds filled with yarn and dog hair.

Pouch filled with nesting material.

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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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September 28, 2010

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 jan king

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 Carol W.

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 carrie

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