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wool and bird nests
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judyofthewoods



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 804
Location: Pembrokeshire
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 05 8:45 am    Post subject: wool and bird nests Reply with quote    

Does anyone know if its safe to put out wool (washed) for birds to take for the nest? I did have a worrying experience last year when I used some sheeps wool for a makeshift nest for a baby bird I found. When it opened its beak for feeding some fibres got cought around the platelet on its tounge, quite traumatic. My memory is a bit foggy around the rest of the events, but I have a feeling that it actuall died, though can't remember for sure if it was due to the wool or something else.
The wool may have been a problem because it was fluffy and loose. Would it be less dangerous in a real birdnest where the parent embeds it in the structure?

Gervase



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 8626

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 05 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I can't see anything wrong with the idea - there's always great hanks of the stuff on the fences round here, so if the birds want it they'll take it. Not that I've seen much wool in nests, though. When we cleared out the masses of nests in the outbuildings and behind the corrugated iron cladding they were all lined with grass and moss rather than wool.

judyofthewoods



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 804
Location: Pembrokeshire
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 05 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have a couple of small unfinished areas on the house where the wool insulation is exposed outside, and have seen bluetits grabbing a beak full. I was wondering if the lanolin in the field wool would make the wool less tangly, and maybe the wool would be better incorporated into the structure without loose ends.

ButteryHOLsomeness



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 05 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i would think it would be ok if the birds incoporated it into the tangle of their nests. as mentioned before they won't take it if they don't want it

you can put wool in your compost bin though, if you're wanting to dispose of it.

Gertie



Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 1638
Location: Yorkshire
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 05 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The swallows and blackbird took hair from where Jas had scrubbed his mane and tail in the summer and incorporated that into their nests.

When it's nesting time I often clean my hairbrush outside for the birds - working on the same principle - hope this is ok - together with any loose hay that quickly goes.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 13485
Location: Bucks
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 05 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My blue tits (well, OK, the ones in my garden!) wnet md for dog hair I put out for them in an old onion net - they have completely ignored the sunflower seeds I put out in the same tree!

judyofthewoods



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 804
Location: Pembrokeshire
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 05 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have no doubt that most animal hair like cat, dog, horse etc. is safe (have put out cat hair before, and they take it), but sheep wool is very long and curly and can get into a tangle and easily wrap itself around things, at least when washed and fluffy. Just wondered if there is any official warning from organisations like the RSPB to refrain from putting out sheep wool for birds.

mochyn



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 24157
Location: mid-Wales
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 05 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

They take old bits of yarn (very short" half an inch) that I put out for them: birds here must have really colourful nest linings! Decor for the chicks!

hardworkinghippy



Joined: 01 Jan 2005
Posts: 1110
Location: Bourrou South West France
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 05 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

This is a nest in our letter box, our postie came to the door to deliver the letters until the chicks had flown the nest :



HWH

mochyn



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 24157
Location: mid-Wales
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 05 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

While walking the bounds of our land a couple of days ago I spotted a lump of raw sheep's wool in a tree: it was in a nest! Proof that some birds do use wool, presumably form the fence, to line nests.

Gervase



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 8626

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 05 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

This very morning I saw a couple of sparrows on the willow in the kitchen garden with great tufts of wool they obviously picked up from the field behind the house, so I stand corrected!

Gertie



Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 1638
Location: Yorkshire
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 05 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

HWH - Lovely photo!!

How sweet is that.

hardworkinghippy



Joined: 01 Jan 2005
Posts: 1110
Location: Bourrou South West France
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 05 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The pink is Mohair dyed with Phytolaca, which I put on the compost heap after a dying session (I boiled it for too long! )

HWH

Gertie



Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 1638
Location: Yorkshire
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 05 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Very impressed with your skills, HWH. Nice that the birds are using recycled goods.

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12364
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 05 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We always leave the daggings when we do the sheep and they have usually gone in a few weeks, to be seen in nests later.

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