My two oldest each had lengthy birthday parties to attend this afternoon. So although I had an art project in mind when I chose birds as this week’s Unplugged Project theme, my children’s busy social calendars precluded anything too complicated.
Instead of art this week, we decided to do something I was meaning to do anyhow: put out some nice spring nesting materials.
While most people know that putting out food and water for wild birds is a great way to attract them to your yard, another often overlooked additional method is to provide nesting materials in the spring. As long as you have some good nesting locations (requirements vary by type of bird), giving them handy materials can encourage them to nest in your yard where you can watch the action for several months.
All you’ll need are some empty suet feeder cages, or a few of those nets used to package oranges or potatoes in bulk. We used a big net from some oranges and a few small Baby Bel cheese nets.
We have some high class, five star nesting material: leftover alpaca fleece from Dempsey, an alpaca at our local alpaca ranch.
If you don’t happen to have a local alpaca ranch or any spare alpaca fleece lying around your house, you can also try putting out any of the following:
-dried leaves and twigs
-human or horse hair
-pet fur, sheep’s wool
-plant fluff (ie. cattail fluff)
-yarn or string (cut into 4″ to 8″ pieces)
-thin strips of cloth (1″ x 6″)
But don’t put out drier lint (stays soggy, dries hard, can contain chemicals from laundering).
You can prepare the household materials together, or go on a nature hike to collect suitable natural materials.
Place the materials in the nets or cages and hang them around your garden on trees, or deck railings. You can also push loose material into tree crevices or between rocks, and drape yarn and string over bushes. Heavier items that won’t blow away, like twigs, can be put out in small piles around your yard.
Then simply sit back and watch to see if there is any interest in your spring gifts!
If you participated in the birds project this week, please put your link in Mr. Linky below (also be sure to leave a comment in case Mr. Linky malfunctions).
Next week’s Unplugged Project theme will be:
Please join us!