No, they don't want our help in the actual building. However, they do appreciate some assistance in the supply department.
Sure, they can find lots of debris in our yards (grass, straw, dead twigs, dried leaves, etc.), but we can give them a hand by making a Bird Nesting Materials Holder with scrap yarn. Plus, it's really fun to see bursts of color throughout their nests.
Making your holder is quite simple, and will not take long at all. You can make one in under an hour, or you can spend a few hours making several for friends and family. It's also a great craft project to do with kids. School or camp groups could do them as a take-home gift for Mom.
- Suet Basket
- You'll find basic ones at just about any store that carries bird feeders for $1-3 (some dollar stores even have them). I got mine at the pet feed store for $1.99. Next year I'm going to look for one that has a "roof" over it to help keep the yarn out of the rain.
- I'm a knitter, so I save my scraps all year long. If you don't knit or crochet, ask a friend or family member who does (we're a giving bunch and will happily pass some of our scraps your way). I've noticed our feathered friends prefer natural fibers (I completely agree with them), and different birds seem to be attracted to different colors.
- Tape Measure or Ruler (optional)
Create Your Nesting Materials Holder
- Prepare Materials
- Gather your yarn and cut it into 3 - 8 inch long pieces (shorter pieces aren't much use for nest construction, and longer pieces could pose the threat of injury, becoming tangled around feathers or necks)
- Stuff, Stuff, Stuff
- Once you have enough scraps cut, begin stuffing them into your suet basket. Don't pack them too tight - the birds need to be able to easily pull out the piece that is most appealing to them.
- Pull some of the scraps through the cage so they are dangling on the outside. This will help catch the birds attention as they blow in the wind.
Hang Your Nesting Materials Holder
- Hang the nesting materials holder from a tree, fence post or even the side of your raised deck. Just be sure it's in a spot where birds can easily get to it (if you let your pets out on your deck, that may not be the best spot).
- Suet holders come with a short chain for quick and easy hanging. That will work for many spots, however if you are hanging it from a thick tree limb (as I have), pick up some chain link at your local hardware store. Measure out how much you need, then use pliers to separate the links and secure it around the tree. Attach the suet holder's chain to the chain link.
Now, sit back and watch the birds get to work! Hopefully in a few weeks time you'll start to see some of your colorful pieces of yarn intertwined into their nests. I can't tell you how giddy I get when I see pops of color in a nest.
Be sure to look up and all around - you might be surprised just where you'll find a nest tucked away! We have them under our deck, and in the trees, both high and not-so-high.
But don't stop at just yarn... keep the creative, recycling juices flowing. Look around your house and see what might be collecting dust (or headed for the trash) that would be useful for either a holder or materials. Here are some ideas...
- Holder Base
- A wire wreath
- Natural mesh bag
- Nesting ball - shape your own out of wire, or purchase a raffia ball at the craft store
- Animal hair
- No time to make a nesting holder? Just leave a pile of your dog's fur brushings or clippings in a tree birds frequent. They'll scoop it up pretty quickly.
- Unspun fiber
- Many years ago, I attempted to spin my own yarn. The spindle and I were not friends, which meant I had quite a bit of leftover fiber.
- Grass clippings
- Cotton tees or sheets cut into 3 - 6" thin strips
- Old tarps cut into 3 - 7" thin strips
- This one happened by accident a few years ago. We discovered some bright blue spots in one of the nests under our deck. Upon a closer look (but not too close - do not disturb those nests!), we realized the Robins helped themselves to a few shreds of an old tarp that was lying nearby.
Easy Spring #DIY project Bird Nesting Materials Holder - #Yarn Scraps For The Birds #crafts #kidscrafts #birdnest https://t.co/ewsv32HdIY— Nichole Burke (@LapdogCreations) May 5, 2016