When the weather begins to warm, let your spring cleaning help nearby wildlife create their own homes. Welcome neighborhood birds to your yard by offering basic household items they can use to line their nests and comfort their chicks. Bird-safe items are all around your house to help you support the local birds and enjoy their chirping chorus. Many of the items you throw away each day are miniature treasures for nest-building birds, including yarn or fiber ends and human and animal hair. If you decide to offer any type of hair or fur, just make sure it hasn’t been exposed to pesticides, including tick spray and flea repellent. Cut leftover bits of yarn or household string into two-inch pieces to prevent potential tangling, recommends Bird Watcher’s Digest. While natural fibers like yarn and string are safe for birds, avoid putting out fishing line or nylon twine because these items tend to tangle.
Once you have a collection of small nesting materials, gather it all into a mesh onion bag or stuff them into an old whisk to keep them from blowing away. Place the holder outside in a location that’s easy to spot. The birds will find the holder and peck out what they need, and you can watch them flutter off with their spoils.
In addition to these small items, your old clothes also make an excellent nest lining, notes the Humane Society. The next time you’re ready to pitch a stained shirt, cut it into one-inch-wide strips that are no longer than six inches, and lay the strips on the bushes near your house. Although your recycled clothes are safe for the birds, avoid giving them dryer lint; this fluffy material may contain harmful chemicals.You can do good for the environment in more ways than one when you let your family’s castoffs make a home for neighborhood birds.
Enjoy watching your feathered friends, and if you find a little chick that has left the nest prematurely, check out these tips for returning baby birds to their nest.
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