You may be seeing bluebirds choosing their mates and checking out nest boxes. Or maybe you’re seeing robins courting or hearing a Northern Flicker drumming on your rain gutter. You may be tempted to “help” our feathered friends by putting out nesting material for them to use in building their nests. However well-intentioned, do not offer dryer lint, yarn, strings, or human hair as nesting material for birds. Why not, you ask?
Dryer lint dissolves and loses its shape in rain-something we have in abundance here! The resulting openings in the nest allow heat to escape, and chicks are at risk for hypothermia. And what about string and yarn?
Nestlings move around a lot in a nest, re-positioning themselves for being fed and for snuggling for warmth. A loose strand that is woven into the nest on one end doesn’t require much length to get wrapped around a baby bird’s toothpick-thin leg and can trap the chick to the nest, resulting in injury and even death. For tips on safe nesting material, check out a free handout from our friends at Backyard Bird Shop .
[“Remedies or Acts of Kindness that Backfire” used by permission from Backyard Bird Shop]