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Nesting material

B3B3 Posts: 19,395
I've noticed that the small birds are collecting nesting material.
Is there anything useful that I can offer and how do I do it?
I remember once finding my old fashioned vacuum cleaner filters ,that I'd hung on the line to dry, empty.Nothing left but the covers!  These are no longer an option.
In London. Keen but lazy.


  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,472
    I've been putting haircut debris out on the lawn for them. It's usually just OH's clipperings, but keeping my hair short gives a lot more material! I've also shorn several inches from each daughter in the past month, so I hope it's useful. I never see them take it but it goes eventually, I know not where.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • B3B3 Posts: 19,395
    I haven't dared cut mine yet. I'm not so concerned about cutting my husband's, though. It's looking quite long at the moment😉 ✂✂✂
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 73,697
    The bluetits around here seem very keen on the combings from next door’s fluffy tortoiseshell cat as well as the fluffy seedheads from Clem Freckles abd moss from our front lawn, whereas the blackbirds like the coir from neighbour’s’ ‘stable manger’ style planter liners. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • B3B3 Posts: 19,395
    I have a rotting coir mat. I will move it somewhere more visible to them. Maybe the top of the compost heap would be the place.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 73,697
    I fixed some to the trellis fence behind the grapevine ... the blackbirds tore it to shreds. 

    The starlings in NDN’s roof take our rosemary leaves to deter fleas and mites in their regular nest site. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • AstraeusAstraeus Posts: 199
    If anyone has used HelloFresh or Gusto, the insulating will that they package meals in has all been taken up by blue tits and jackdaws in the last couple of years. I just checked one of our boxes and it's been lined superbly with that stuff!
  • I mentioned in the 'wildlife' area, but the blackbirds here are very keen on soggy moss from the side of the pond, and 'mud' - preferably with stringy roots in it (presumably to hold it together) - I've been offering old grow-bag soil (witgh tomato roots in it). Always a chance of house-martins or swallows too with mud, if they've got somewhere suitable to stick it.

    I've had birds stripping the fibrous hanging-basket liner too.

    And can be annoying when they take to using living leaves - feathery young leaves off sprouting Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) often get taken (sparrows, I think).

    The swifts here (from early May), with their entirely aerial lifestyle, gather nesting material while in flight - if it's found blowing in the air, then they'll probably use it - sometimes includes bits of plastic bag!
  • BijdezeeBijdezee BPosts: 1,484
    In our previous home the blue tits used to hop in and take the dog hairs from our dogs blanket, even when he was in it! Made me chuckle. 
  • ManderMander GatesheadPosts: 240
    Over the years I have found nests with bits of stuffing that must have come from an abandoned sofa or something, parts of a cassette tape, those green net bags that fat balls often come in, and shiny plastic ribbons like you would use for wrapping presents.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 3,839
    There's no shortage of supplies here, loads of sheep's wool, moss, hay & dried grass, but I put hair combings from the dog, and any suitable looking bits of packaging material in an old peanut feeder so the birds can take their pick.
    It is rare indeed for there to be a shortage of mud here, but the weather last spring meant the poor swallows had to work extra hard.
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