Nesting - A Helping Hand

Date: 2013-04-19 15:36:46 | Category: Bird Protection | Author: Twootz Staff
Birds are the ultimate nest-builders- each species has its own unique nest-building techniques, if you keep a look throughout late March and April, you may be able to see evidence of this workmanship taking place.

The male bird chooses the location of the nest, and the female builds it by carefully weaving grasses, twigs, and other bits of scavenged materials. To insulate the nest, she cushions the inside with feathers, hair and fine grass.

Nesting - A Helping Hand

For every type of nest, finding the right building materials is essential. Birds can spend a whole day in their quest for the items that their structure requires; the bird's beaks and talons are designed for carrying and arranging the materials they gather.

The purpose of nesting material:

  • Protecting the nest from harsh weather

  • Camouflaging from predators

  • Insulation

  • Cushioning eggs

  • Different birds use different materials to build their nests; however, the most popular materials are as follows:

    • Dead leaves and Grass

    • String or thread

    • Twigs or sticks

    • Animal fur or human hair

    • Feathers

    • Moss

    • Pine needles

    • Mud

    • Pebbles or small rocks

    • Spider web silk

    • Shredded paper

    • Cotton balls

    • While some of these materials are available naturally, if you wish to encourage your backyard birds to nest, providing some of the following sources of material can help -

      • Straw, grass, fresh cut leaves, moss, fur, hair and wool. 

      • Natural fibres and pieces of plant materials

      • A small muddy patch in your garden, such as a muddy puddle or edge of a pond.

      • The best way to distribute these would be to leave little piles of nesting materials visibly around your garden and if possible hanging a feeder full of materials where birds will notice it.