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Nesting Materials for Birds
No matter where you live you can introduce your child to bird-watching. It is fun, free, and gets you and your child outdoors. Learn about birds and, bird-watching can be a hobby that can be enjoyed for life.
Children love to help so encourage them to help the birds. Help to provide them with nest building materials. Begin by collecting materials from around your house and yard. Place the materials in a container that will allow the birds to choose from them freely. A mesh bag, such as those onions or oranges are sold in, works well. Or use a mesh type berry basket that you can fill with nesting materials and tie so it hangs from the tree. If you don't have either on hand, you can just set your materials out on the lawn or porch. Place a heavy rock on the center of the pile to keep the wind from taking your materials away before the birds can. Figure out where to put your nesting materials based on where you see the most birds perhaps near the bird feeder.
You can get started with these ideas, but over time you will figure out some other materials to add:
String and Fabric. This is a great way to use up odds and ends of string, yarn, embroidery floss, or twine. Cut the string into manageable pieces, about 4-5 inches long, and stuff them in your bag. To make it easier for the birds, pull an inch or two of string out through the holes of the bag. If you include a few pieces of brightly colored string, using colored yarn does make it fun as you might see a piece or two in a nest later in the summer.
Natural materials. Collect materials from around your yard, such as moss, pine needles, small twigs, dried grass, dried leaves, fluff from plants (such as milkweed),and lightweight strips of bark.
What not to use: While there are many materials that make good nest components, there are some you should avoid. Don't use grass that has been treated with pesticides or fur from pets that have been treated with topical flea medications. Also avoid dryer lint; it tends to crumble when it gets wet.
Backyard Birding Flash Cards
Birdwatchers Coloring Book
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