Offering birds construction material to build a nest is just one more way for you to attract a wider variety of bird activity to your yard. But I’ve been hearing several people say that they are saving their dryer lint for nesting material this spring.
I’d like to say that we DO NOT recommend dryer lint. There may be perfumes and soap residue, but more important it isn’t a good nest building material. Lint hardens after getting wet providing a poor nest for baby birds.
There are several different nesting materials that we DO recommend. Birds generally line the inside of their nest with a soft lining. Clean pet hair or cotton yarn cut no longer than 3 inches can be stuffed into an old mesh onion sack or an unused suet cage and hung from trees and bushes for birds to use in nest building. (I know it’s not hard to collect a handful of cat hair right now as the cats are switching to their spring coat!) You can also purchase natural cotton balls and Birdie Bells full of feathers, straw, and cotton at our Wild Birds Unlimited stores in East Lansing and Okemos, MI.
In the end, whether the birds are collecting twigs, leaves, feathers, cattail fluff or cottonwood down, moss, bark, pine needles, mud, or spider webs from the yard or the nesting material we offer, it's fun to watch as different birds collect different construction materials in the spring.