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Springtime is nesting time!

bird in the tree_edited.JPG

bird in the neighbors' apple tree

For the past week or so, there is a lot of singing, chirping, warbling and yes, twittering, going on in our garden and in the trees and shrubs in our neighbors' yards surrounding us. It's that wonderful time of year, nesting season.

Birds are tirelessly flying between sources of nest materials and their selected nesting trees or shrubs, carrying a few twigs or threads of dried plant stems in their beaks each time. Yesterday I observed a crow flying by every 5 or 10 minutes, with twigs in its beak. It looks like it is finding building material from at least a block or 2 away from its selected nest site. And the mourning doves who built a nest in a tree next to our house last year seem to have been successful enough with their nest and chicks to decide to build another nest in the same tree this year!

Since I read a few years ago that birds like to use cat or dog fur in their nests as soft padding, I have been saving the fur that I brush off from our cat Georges to provide some nest material for that purpose.

This is the first year we are putting out the fur for the birds.

Here is a link for suggestions by the Humane Society of the United States:

Note that the pet fur needs to be from animals NOT TREATED WITH FLEA OR TICK CHEMICALS!

Also, the fur should be from shorter haired animals. If the fur is too long, baby chicks could get their feet caught and twisted which could cause deformities in their feet development.

You can put the collected fur in bird suet containers, as pictured below that cost anywhere from about 5 to 15 dollars.

fur for bird nests.jpg

Or there are grapevine globes used for the same purpose from that are pricier but are very cool looking

Duncraft grapevine globes for fur_edited.jpg

Whatever you use, hang it up from a tree branch or from under a roof, well out of reach of squirrels and animals such as cats (!)

We are testing a different kind of container to see how it will appeal to the birds. And I'll keep you posted this weekend.

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