Martha Stewart Apparently Has the Same Idea!

Over the past few weeks the nest building and engineering in our area has really started in earnest. We have had birds marking their territories with displays and loud songs. We have migratory birds returning to make their first appearances such as the Tree Swallows who did appear on March 19! They are busily filling up their nest boxes that my neighbor provides—they are taking in twigs and grasses and long trailing plant material to stuff into their boxes.

Routinely I love to provide our local birds with materials to line their nests. Certainly there is a plethora of natural materials such as dried grasses, mosses and lichens.  I always put out some other “soft” options such as dryer lint, bits of yarn leftovers from my knitting projects, balls of cat hair from the weekly brushing episodes and even bits of shredded paper from our enormous piles of paper shredding.

I was surprised when I read in the latest Martha Stewart Living this month that she had a section “for the birds” where she endorses the very same activity—putting out bits of cotton or other soft materials you may have.   In the magazine of course they are arranged in a lovely fashion in a wooden box— I keep thinking these would blow off in a puff of light wind. Instead I put mine in an empty suet feeder. Just today I was on the deck watching our Black Capped Chickadee pair grabbing huge mouthfuls of cat hair to take into the hanging bird house they picked out from the several on our property! What a delight to see them “recycling” and hopefully enjoyed some soft linings for the new hatchlings soon to appear.

Our other local nest builder—the American Robin made one attempt at our neighbor’s house only to have the first nest blown away in last week’s “wind storm”—not much wind but apparently enough to blow away the rather light assortment of twigs and grasses. So they started over in a new location—and apparently they did this in one day. It was not there in the morning when I looked out and it was totally finished when I arrived back home in the evening—quite the feat for one day.  Hopefully this one will be more sheltered from wind and rain—it looks pretty secure as you can see from this accompanying picture.

It gave me such a huge boost to think of my yarn scraps from my many projects over the past year being put to good use to shelter our first chicks—whether Robins or ducks of various sorts of other perching birds.   The idea of our indoor cats contributing to the lives of birds is also a smile inducer!   Go look outdoors to see what is in your yard and consider how you might contribute to the comfort of these creatures.

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