Nesting Materials


See that thing hanging toward the upper right in this picture? With a blue top and bottom? That’s a nesting materials hanger. I filled it with pieces of wool from our sheep. I’m not sure if the birds have used any or not, but I’m trying to be helpful! We do have some bluebirds that have been using our bird houses. (Yay!)

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on May 1, 2010  

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15 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 5-1

    Great idea! I hang up a net with tumble dryer lint in for the nesting birds too.

  2. 5-1

    Suzanne, I don’t know if you get orioles in the spring but my sister does and this is what she does to help them build their nests:
    She takes crochet cotton, not yarn, and cuts lengths of about 18 inches. She cuts A LOT of these. And then she drapes them over the branches of her redbud tree. One here…two there…just all over the lower branches. When the birds comes, it’s amazing to watch. The female oriole will take a string in her beak and drop it to the ground then pick up again in the middle and walk around to pick up another section which makes a loop in her beak. She then flies off to her chosen nesting site, way high up in a tree, and she makes her pouch nest by weaving the string through her other twigs and miscellaneous items.
    I have watched this many spring times with my sister and it never fails to amaze me. She usually has between four and eight nesting pairs of these beautiful birds. If you have them in your area, try this. You will not regret it.
    And thank you for providing nesting boxes for blue birds. They have a hard time finding places to raise their families.
    have a great day!

  3. 5-1

    Rose H— Cornell Lab of Ornithology (the grand poobah of all things birds) has this to say about leaving dryer lint for birds: Dryer lint from synthetic fibers becomes crumbly after it’s rained on and dries. Some laundry detergents and fabric softeners may leave harmful residues. We don’t recommend offering dryer lint. A list of what they do recommend, along with where to leave it, is at

  4. 5-1

    That is good information Bonita, as I had heard about the dryer lint before. I had my scout make up bags of nesting materials to put out for birds at one of our meetings. It was a great way to recycle all the hair from my australian shepherd. I also use the hair from when I brush my horses.

  5. 5-1

    On sunny spring days, years ago, my sister and I would go outside and sit in the sun and brush our waist-length hair after bathing (we thought the sun would make our hair blonder). One day my dad found an old hummingbird nest and the inside was completely lined with strands of our hair. The hummingbird had wrapped the lengths of hair so neatly. It still makes me smile to think of a tiny hummingbird gathering up strands of hair,

  6. 5-1

    Congratulations on your bluebirds :snuggle: ! Did you know that they like people and are easily tamed? You can attract them with mealworms, which you can buy at most pet stores or raise yourself if you are so inclined. If you put mealworms out for them, they will start coming to your windows and looking for you if you are late with their daily mealworm treat :hungry: . Mealworms are to bluebirds as cookies are to Clover.

  7. 5-1

    My Blue Bird House has been up for two years now, and apparently the rent if too high. They check it out and then go down the block. I will try meal worms.

  8. 5-1

    We found a nest one time that was full of my Collie’s hair. Now I make sure when I brush the dogs I leave the hair out for them. :woof:

  9. 5-1

    That’s very clever, I like that. I’m going to try it at home. I have some wool I can stick in it.

  10. 5-1

    I have always thought it is so cute the way the birds clean up all the bits of plastic bag, etc. that get loose when heavy garden work is going on. I have found it in old nests several times. When wind is blowing and stuff is strewing I just tell the workers: Don’t worry about it, the birds will clean it up. I have put out short lengths of scrap wool yarn, but I don’t think there were any takers. We have a mother Cardinal sitting on her nest at our kitchen sink window. They have built there before in that Viburnum shrub. There is also a small scrawny holly tree at the window. One spring a female hummingbird was very busy collecting the lichens for her nest. At the time I didn’t know what she was doing, but soon after, I read they use lichen as a nest material. There was plenty on that tree for her. :happyflower:

  11. 5-1

    We have 2 bird houses for bluebirds. One is occupied every year, the other is not — I haven’t checked this year, so maybe it is. I love them — they are so pretty. My husband keeps threatening to do away with them, though. The male becomes very territorial for about 2 weeks in late spring and will hit against the sliding glass door and will sit in front of the side mirrors on both of our vehicles fighting with his own image. Apparently, he thinks it’s another male. What my husband hates is all the bird poop on the side view mirrors and down the side of his truck!!!!! Don’t know if you’ll have that problem or not!!

  12. 5-1

    Nesting material for birds – yet another reason not to have too tidy a garden or yard :-)

  13. 5-1

    The most popular nesting materials in our yard are the sphagnum moss in the staghorn fern planters and the Spanish moss. Our hummingbird gather spider webs for their nests.

  14. 5-2

    I LOVE bluebirds. I had a family in a birdhouse when I lived in Georgia. I put out mealworms for them to eat. I could peak inside and see the babies and I was so pleased when I saw a mealworm hanging out of a baby’s mouth! I miss them because they don’t live here in Colorado.

  15. 5-6

    I live on the edge of the woods and the birds here build nests in anything that has a hole big enough to fit in. When I left my clothpin bag hanging on the line for a day or two I would find they had started another nest in it. I can’t leave a potted plant on my front porch, they start a nest in it,open gutters, mail boxes, beside my window air conditioner, you name it. Why do they prefer my house to all the great trees that surround my house?

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