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Old 02-26-2010, 10:39 PM   #31
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Horse hair's a good idea. Plenty of that around here but it would have to be hair that didn't have any insect repellants on it. I bought my husband a birdie bell from somewhere. I forget where but it's sort of like a basic suet feeder only in the shape of a bell. We could find lots of things we could ram in the birdie bell that wouldn't be able to be pulled out from an onion bag. He was going to use it for oranges but I'm thinking he'll like the idea of adding nesting materials better. This is what his birdie bell looks like but an old birdcage would work too, Birdie Bell from Duncraft
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:57 PM   #32
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Our little one is working feverishly cutting strips from a cotton pillow case we are retiring as I type. We plan on hunting through our home for other materials we can use. (sigh) We have too much snow to gather more natural materials at the moment. She plans to combine her cotton strips with other materials to make her own nesting material kit.

We will share photos of her finished project.
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:18 PM   #33
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Oh goody! It is always a pleasant surprise to find a nest with your materials used in it isn't it!
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:05 PM   #34
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Would cotton balls (the real kind, not synthetic) work? I've seen bags of organic cotton balls at Whole Foods... pricey, but one bag would go a long way, and it would be easy-peasy.

Anyone know if there's a downside to cotton balls?
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:42 AM   #35
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You are such a thoughtful hostess. Those are attractive too.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:53 AM   #36
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There are a variety of things that can be used to hold nesting materials:

Cage-style wire suet feeders

Grapevine globes

Pine-cone or grapevine wreaths

Wire wreath forms


And there are many things you can put in them.
We put in small tufts of natural cotton, short snips of ribbon and embroidery floss (under 6") feathers, short lengths of raffia (again under 6"), lengths of trimmed Panicum, pet hair, human hair, bits of natural jute, fine little twigs, etc.

Last year we found a couple cute 'birdhouses' made out of small branches and grapevine--strictly decorative, they looked like the sort of thing you see in garden displays. I put one on the front porch, the kids filled it with approved nesting material and a Carolina Wren moved right in and took over! I just bought another and need to find a different sheltered spot for this one.

I remember reading somewhere that dryer lint is not a good idea. I can't remember why, though. (Maybe the chemicals some people use--maybe because of synthetic fibers?) We have so many other things to use for nesting material anyhow. . .
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:53 AM   #37
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Those Carolina wrens sure are inventive. I had one of those iron wall planters by the front door that was lined with sphagnum moss and before I could plant anything in it they burrowed a little cavity in it and made themselves to home, snug as can be. They sure were bold to nest so close to the front door.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:14 AM   #38
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Haha - and they were thinking how nice it was of you to make a little apartment just for them. . . I'm betting you let them nest and found another planter?
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:58 AM   #39
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I hadn't thought of insect repellents on horse hair, but don't use them here in the winter, just through August.

The nests I have seen around here are made with the long mane and tail hair wound in with other materials.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:40 AM   #40
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I forget who mentioned pillows but... I've got two I can use. I was home for a week sick when there was this channel called the home shopping network or something like that. I was bored out of my gourd on the couch with credit card in hand watching this channel that was selling all kinds of things for a fraction of retail price. I bought two pillows for 1/10th the price of down pillows in the store. I told my husband all about the "deal" I got. We got the pillows and couldn't use them. They were down... 10% down and what ever the other 90% of the feathers were... they stuck you in the face and neck when you were sleeping. My husband told me to get rid of them before somebody grabbed one by accident and slept on it and got stabbed with a gazillion feathers in the head but... I hung onto them all these years... couldn't stand the thought of pitching them... and it paid off. Feathers for all our feathered friends thanks to who ever mentioned the feathers and... maybe my husband will stop laughing at me when reminding me about my "deal".
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