by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
We are seeing, once again, a lot of posts online, in Blogs and (other) social media suggesting putting yarn scraps, twine or other material outside as nesting material for songbirds. While the intentions may be good, please do not do this. It is not good for the birds, much like feeding waterfowl with bread; it can kill.
Yarn and any type of string, twine and even human hair can easily become tangled around birds legs, neck etc. and cut off circulation causing serious injury or even death. Many animal rescue places get in many baby songbirds every year missing limbs due to string like materials in a nest.
If you want to have nesting materials in your yard, we suggest purchasing pre-made nesting material or use these natural alternatives.
Small Yard Debris: Pine straw, wheat straw, and tiny twigs make good bird nest building materials.
Grass Clippings: One of the most common nesting materials, grass clippings can be gathered into balls or simply left mulched into your lawn.
Animal Hair: If you brush or clip your animals, save the fur. It makes a wonderfully soft lining for bird nests. Just don’t use any hair or fur that’s been treated with flea dips or insect repellents.
Coco Fiber: Recycle worn-out linings of hanging baskets for bird nesting material.
Plants and Seeds: Fluffy seeds and plants, such as cattails, make good bird nesting materials.
Cloth Batting: Wool or cotton batting cut into 3”- 6” strips makes good nesting material.
Feathers: Providing feathers for nesting material is a great way to recycle old down pillows or the feathers from out of your chicken coop (if you have chickens).
Moss: Sphagnum or Spanish moss make great bird nesting material (make sure it's not been chemically treated).
But, let me reiterate once again, no yarn scraps, twine, human hair or any other such like stuff. It can be a death trap for small birds.