How to help your garden birds this spring.
On occasion, my hair looks like a bird’s nest; but now it might actually be one. You can’t help but notice that the birds are busy setting up home and collecting the finishing touches for their nests now. It never occurred to me to put out nesting material for them. That is, until a friend told me that she encouraged her children to put out balls of hair (collected from their hairbrushes), to see if the birds in their garden, would use it to line their nests. And they did! What a great way to get children engaged and to learn about wildlife living on their doorstep.
Hair from your hairbrushes, ‘dust bunnies’ and even pet hair can be put out, (as long as your pets haven’t been treated for fleas). Small feathers from pillows are perfect too. You don’t need to buy synthetic nesting fibre. Natural found material is better (birds use all sorts of natural materials, from straw and mud to sheep’s wool or dead leaves). You can either throw your hair onto the lawn, place it in a suet block feeder, or simply hook it onto a branch. Then wait and see if there are any takers.
If you’re lucky, your hair will be used as nest lining, to cushion the bird's eggs and to help insulate them. Finches, robins and tits are all likely to choose hair for their nests. Long-tailed tits will even use cobwebs. They make a pouch of a nest from moss held together by spider’s webs, hair and over 2,000 feathers and take up to 3 weeks to complete their nests.*
So far, I have a great tit nesting in my garden, who knows, maybe some of my hair will find it’s way inside?