Before the snow had even melted from the unprecedented Winter storm last week I noticed many robins around (much to Benchley’s bird watching delight).
Robins are often considered harbingers of spring. Spring means flowers and gardens growing, flowers and sunshine, bunnies, kittens, and hatchlings.
Doves have built nests in windowsills of my house a couple of times over the last few years.
I had an idea on how to help the birds with their nest building, and recycle/reduce waste at the same time.
I always end up with little bits of yarn left over from my crochet projects; I usually just throw these away, but the wastefulness bugs me. I picked up an “EZ Fill Suet Basket” at the local garden center for less than two dollars. I filled it with yarn scraps, some hair from my hairbrush, used floss, some cat hair, and a little dryer lint, then hung it from a pecan tree in my backyard.
If you like this idea and want to make your own, I came up with a quick DIY version – I am eager to compare the results between the two.
DIY Bird Nest Kit
For starters you need:
-a small plastic fruit container (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries…)
ideally the green baskets strawberries used to come in
-a crafting knife
-satin or flat spray paint
-one long piece of yarn or string (about 2’)
-stringy scraps to fill the container
Most plastic fruit containers have slits already cut in them, but I think we need to cut some more so that birds can easily pick out the strings they want. I cut two long ¾ -ish inch strips off the top; and poked 9 holes in the bottom to help it drain if it rains on it.
The next step is spray paint! This step isn’t so that the container is a certain color…it is because shiny things scare birds, and the goal is to attract them to the nest scraps instead of repelling them. I had a partial can of satin brown paint in the garage and used that. There is no need to spray the inside, so just a couple shots of paint on the outside will do the job.
After the paint has dried, go ahead and close it and run your long piece of string or yarn through the side slits. I put mine so that it runs under the bottom and threads through a slit in the bottom of the container and out of a slit in the “lid” on each side (this will help keep it closed), then tie the ends together.
After the hanger is all set, it is time to fill it!
The last step is to hang it for the birds to access.
This is a super easy project, and would be great to so with little kids.
If you make a “bird nest kit” (as I’ve taken to calling it) and post about it on Instagram, please tag me. I would love to see how your projects turn out.