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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
it's time to start getting ready for spring...we know it...the birds know it...and they will start building their little nests soon to raise their babies...

so this idea is nothing new...it's just a reminder the the time is coming up fast....

take onion bags (or any bags that are mesh)...fill them with dryer lint (i also use the lint from my sweeper..i have a bagless)..just shake out the 'dirt' first....fill it up...tie it closed and hang it from a tree or some other object....the birds will come and 'pick' at it and get goodies to line their nests..... (think of it as 'making quilts for the little baby chicks'...)

while we're on the subject of birdies...something else we have done...take a styrofoam ball (or other round object)...smear it with peanut butter and roll it in seed...hang from a tree.... (we used styr coz its lightweight to begin with).... birds love it (or at least ours do)....:chomp:
 

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wow never thought of that i will have to do this.
 

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I have a bird and squirrel feeder, which is affectionately named, Flutters FlyNDine.

I feed them bagged bird seed from 20 pound bags. The Audubon brand from Kmart is really inexpensive, about 40 cents a pound and it is all edible seed, not filler and sawdust, like Wagner's Wild bird seed.

I get endless hours of enjoyment watching them from my window. And when the weather warms, I can sit quietly 15 feet from the feeder and few all the activity.

They seem to get along well together. And every one feeds from various levels and surfaces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
you can get bulk feed from a farm store for really cheap....try them if you have one close....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
does anyone have a good/cheap/easy (by easy i mean not ALOT of ingredients) recipe for suet for the suet feeders ????
 

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Birds love pet hair, too, so as you're brushing your pets to get rid of their winter coats (or picking it up in clumps off the floor) save it and put it in the net bag, too.

Our kids found a bird nest one time that had a chunk of serged thread in it from my industrial serger. Someone must have dropped it on the way out to the Dumpster with our trash, and an enterprising birdie found it and put it to good use.
 

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We had a darling little squirrel make a nest in my fireplace chimney. She chewed through the mesh, built her next and when she climbed in it boom down to the flue. DH had a fun time getting her back outside. Thankfully no babies were born!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ahh...i'm glad you didn't hurt her.....
 

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Awww, I will definitely do that with my dryer lint!! Thanks for the idea. I love birdies. :)
 

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Thanks for the neat idea to put that dryer lint to use :D I think I'll add in my tiny thread bits from stitching too in case the birdies want to really decorate with color! ;)
 

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What a coincidence that you posted this thread today! I went out this morning and hung four finch/sparrow nesting boxes, and then I get back in and read your onion bag/lint idea! I'll have to give it a try!!

I am hoping to hang another four boxes this year. I figured I got rid of all the brush in the surrounding area, which was a great cover for them, so I may as well try to balance my karma a bit with giving their babies some homes! :)

(On the plus side, the removal of brush doesn't seem to have hurt the quail population at all. They raise their babies in my herb garden every year! I KNEW there was a reason (besides laziness) that I didn't cut all those plants back!!
 

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Thank you so much for the idea. I keep my bird feeder full all season long. I will put out my dryer lint and pet hair. I may have some scraps of yarn and string. My husband is a Maryland Natural Resources Police Officer. They find funny things in Osprey nests. One time they found a Barbie doll.
 

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Yes, we've done this before. It's lots of fun to watch the birds pick out their nesting material.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
wow i can't believe most of you have never heard about the dryer lint...i figured this was going to be something where everyone had been doing it for years.... our birds are gonna have some 'fine' nests this spring....:box:
 

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Hi there - I'm a volunteer with the National Wildlife Federation and I teach people how to attract wildlife. I have a LOT of knowledge about attracting birds and thought I'd share with this group:

1. DON'T buy anything marked Wild Bird Seed - this has lots of millet in it which will attract nonnative birds like house sparrows, which are European and will kill native birds, push their eggs out of nests, etc. House Sparrows are a major problem in the U.S.

2. DON'T use generic bird houses - they will attract House Sparrows.

3. DO use house wren houses which have smaller holes and will attract chickadees and house wrens, but House Sparrows can't get in. House wren/chickadee houses will say that on the label.

4. DO make homemade hummingbird food - 1 cup water; 1/4 cup sugar. No red dye necessary. Learn more at hummingbirds.net. NOW is the time to get out your feeders as hummers are beginning their migration south.

5. DO buy a cheap cage suet feeder and hang it horizontally. Remove the plastic from the suet but leave it in the plastic tray with the open part facing downward. Starlings and House Sparrows don't like to hang upside down to eat, but nuthatches, chickadees and woodpeckers will.

6. DO buy a perchless wooden woodpecker feeder (no wire cage feeders) Woodpeckers and nuthatches will cling, House Sparrows will not - they may try but it will be very difficult for them.

7. DO buy un upside down thistle feeder. Goldfinches will hang upside down to feed, but house finches and house sparrows will not. If you buy a thistle sock or upright thistle feeder, HFs and HSs will clean out your thistle in no time - and thistle ain't cheap! ;)

8. DO buy a small feeder with small wooden ledges and put safflower in it. Cardinals, chickadees and nuthatches love safflower (which you can get cheap at WalMart), but House Sparrows don't. Don't put safflower in a feeder with large ledges or you will attract mourning doves who will clean out your feeder in no time flat.

9. Do buy a platform feeder and put peanuts in the shell on it. Blue Jays love these as do woodpeckers. West Nile Virus hit Blue Jays hard in the last couple of years, so they can use this extra sustenance as they are rebounding and trying to make it through winter.

10. Do put your feeders on a pole with a metal tubular baffle on it at about 3.5-4 feet high away from anywhere the squirrels might launch from - otherwise they'll get on your feeders and wreck them or eat all the food - costing you a lot more money. The baffle has to be tall enough that squirrels can't jump to the top ledge.

Of course the BEST thing for birds and wildlife is to plant flowers, grasses and shrubs that are native to your state. If anyone has any questions, I'm happy to answer them, just drop me a line. Good birding and remember - birding and driving don't mix. ;)
Leslie
 
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