Although the thermometer never went above 36 degrees today, the fact is that our fair weather birds that winter in nice, toasty warm climates, have returned... and love is in the air! No matter what the thermometer says, birds are going to nest.

So, today the girls worked on putting together Nesting Material Cages to make the bird's job a little easier, a little comfier, and certainly a lot more colorful! 

We started with a couple of new Suet Ball Feeders that I bought on Amazon.  

The girls then went through my stash of roving and loosely stuffed the cages.

Even Fargo helped!

And, just to keep things interesting, Aunt Liz read one of their very favorite Beatrix Potter books, The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit!

Then everyone moved outdoors with Othy. They found the perfect locations for their Nesting Material Cages to hang.

So, on your mark, get set, go, birds, go! Hope you and your babies enjoy soft nests this spring!

 

 

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Comments

What a wonderful project. Your house is so lovely. I want to sit and work at the table with you guys :) I hope someday your grandchildren will realize how lucky they've been. My children's grandparents, on both sides, aren't very involved in their lives. How wonderful it would be to have a place to go where magic happens. Love your blog and appreciate all the sharing you do. Hugs and Kisses, Andrea

Thank you for all your kind words, Andrea. I feel very blessed to have the little monkeys around :) I wish all my grandbabies lived close enough to spend Sundays with us. And although there aren't grandparents around, I'm sure you do a great job of bringing magic into their lives :) ((hugs))

Kimara
Wee Folk Art Publisher
 

I have read that putting fibers (yarn, cloth scraps) out for the birds can be dangerous to the birds. Because these items are not natural like twigs and grasses are, they can & do mildew in the damper climates which can actually harm the birds. I hope you've checked to be sure this is safe for the birds in your area.

Actually, many birds and rodents use animal fur in their nests that they collect naturally. Even before we started putting out roving, we watched birds take dog fur from our yard. A friend that has llamas told me birds are always taking roving from the bushes their llamas rub against. Most birds build nests that have good ventilation that's why it's important, if you have bird houses in your yard, to make sure they are properly cleaned out and kept in repair so they stay dry. I'm sure you can read articles that both support and refute setting out nesting materials, but I do appreciate you sharing your concerns, and I do encourage people to do their own research, and make their own decisions :) 

Kimara
Wee Folk Art Publisher
 

I have seen something similar done with wool yarn; I thought was a very clever use of those little scraps that have no other home, but the roving is wonderful as well. I might do both this year and let the birds have their pick :D

If you look at Karen's suggestion above, you can see that she plans to use some scrap fabrics. As I mentioned to her in my reply, I've even used string from frayed fabric. As long as the materials are safe for birds, you'd be surprised at how creative they can be.

Kimara
Wee Folk Art Publisher
 

Good morning. I love your project! Can you recommend fillers for these for quilters who have lots of fabric, but no wool or fuzzy stuff like that? Thanks a bunch! :)

We have put many things in nesting cages over the years. I made a ton of Rip and Tear napkins several years ago and I put out the strings from them. We have also used small pieces of waste yarn. As far as fabric scraps... simply cut them into strips, about 1/4", and the birds will take them, too. Be sure not to cut the strips too long. It makes them difficult to carry and there is some concern of young birds getting tangled in strings that are too long. You can put the fabric in cages or simply drape them over branches. We had a beautiful husky that shed like crazy in the spring. When we combed out her fur each day, we put the discarded fur in the tree crooks, and the birds and squirrels took the fur :) Have fun. It you are lucky enough to have a bird build a nest where you can see, you'll probably see some of your nesting materials in the nest.

Kimara
Wee Folk Art Publisher
 

What a great idea I hadn't thought about using rovings but when we had our last dog she shed loads when we groomed her and the birds used to collect her fur from the lawn to use in their nests.
I'm a new follower of your blog and love all you share

Jackie x

Any activity yet? Also, I wonder if you'll see some nests around with joyful little pops of color.

Our backyard is always active. We feed the birds year round, provide heated bird bathes, have bushes, trees and piles of branches for roosting and nest building, tons of bird houses throughout the property, and the space under our deck is inhabited by birds throughout the winter. We plant flower beds for birds and butterflies. Our yard is Nirvana for birds : )

In the winter we get several varieties of finches, juncos, blue jays, morning doves, cardinals, nut hatches, red-headed woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers and tufted titmouse. In the spring we see the return of the robins, grackles, red-winged black birds, blue birds, ducks and sand-hill cranes and humming birds. We also get waves of orioles as they migrate through.

As you can well imagine, this also means we have a resident hawk. I almost stopped feeding the birds because I just felt like I was making them sitting ducks for the hawk. Then, I read somewhere, that the hawk was going to eat a couple birds a day... whether he got them in our yard or the field next door, he would eat. And, he was just going to eat what he needed... no more. So, it has been an education in the circle of life for all of us.

We have lots of nesting that occurs in the yard. We have several spots that we can usually watch the nesting occur. There is still snow on the ground, so we haven't seen much nesting yet, although I'm sure there already is some occurring in remote areas of the yard. Birds are an important part of our family's life and entertainment. They bring us so much joy for the very little effort we put into making our yard bird friendly. Judging by the name of your blog, I'm assuming you share a love of our feathered friends. I took a quick peek at your blog and it looks lovely. Looking forward to meandering around a bit more later!

Kimara
Wee Folk Art Publisher
 

I love the photo of Fargo helping you make the nests project!! I am the owner of Max, (formerly Alfalfa) and foster mom Penny told me of your website! It looks amazing with many cute activites.. Maybe I will try this one with my grandchildren.

But I wanted to see the photo of your dog. He is just a twin to his brother, Max! Max also likes to pull apart any stuffing material and nearly destroyed his crate cushion! He is an active dog, but I love him a lot!

I had his genome done by Wisdom Panel and got some surprising results! Apparently, his mother was a pug/Wire Fox Terrier crossed with (father) Weimariner!!! Can you imagine? I had hoped he was mostly lab and wanted a swimmer, but Max seems to have hunting traits instead!
I hope you will respond to my email and maybe I can provide photos too!
Sincerely, Marilyn

Hi Marilyn,
Thanks for posting your findings about Max. Weimariner... that is interesting. Fargo does look quite a bit like a Weimariner now that I've looked it up... just with different coloring. I love his floppy ears and he does have large webbed feet (he seems like he will be a good swimmer - so maybe you will get your wish). He also has a curly tail, which I'm assuming is the pug. He is very smart and doing well with the house training but walking on a leash... well that is a different story (my arms are tired from holding him back).

He is known as the "Sock Demon" around here. He hasn't been gutting any toys or pillows (thank goodness - our 12 year old schnauzer destroyed every fluffy thing in site when he was a puppy) but Fargo will collect all the socks and mittens he can find. He doesn't rip them apart but we will find a stash of them on his bed, soaking wet from being in his mouth. Yum.

Did your vet give you an idea of how big Max will get? Ours hasn't but we did an online calculator which said around 32lbs. We are hoping he won't cross the 40lb mark... but who knows - he has pretty big paws. He was 20lbs at his last vet appt about a week ago.

If you didn't already see it, here is a link with some more of Fargo's puppy pictures.
http://weefolkart.com/content/wee-bit-trouble
We would love to see pics of Max. You can email them to WeeFolkArt@yahoo.com.

Michelle

Wee Folk Art Publisher
 

What a great idea for the birds. We always put out scraps of string or yarn for the birds to use. It is getting to be that time!