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Dog hair to the birds

They may not be interested but it's nice to offer

MetPet.com Staff Writer

There are an estimated 25 birds to every human living on the planet.  They are so commonplace that we take their presence for granted as they weave in and out of our suburban landscape.  Bird enthusiasts provide bird seed but what about aiding their nest building activities?

Every large sized, long haired dog produces enough dog hair to fill a lawn bag every year.  There are some heavily coated dogs that can produce this much fluff in a single grooming! 

It's time to make better use of this natural resource than simply tossing it away.  Birds have been known to use the hair from grazing animals such as sheep and even hair from squirrels.  They regularly pick up human debris to line their homes including bits of string, paper and refuse from uncovered recycling containers. 

Dog hair is soft, pliable, warm and biodegradable.  It can be used to add warmth and softness to nests although we doubt it will keep prowling cats away.  The life of a neighborhood bird is short and difficult.  Having nesting materials easily available may make the difference between surviving another season or not. 

Why not leave a few tufts, the size of your palm, on fences (shown above) on the tops of bushes (below) or the branches of trees (left)?  By leaving it in a variety of different locations, a number of different types of birds will have access to it.  If you're lucky, you can actually see birds collect it and fly off with it.

If you have prowling neighborhood cats, make sure that the tufts are above cat level on tree branches that are too spindly to take their weight.  As the tufts disappear, you can add more.  If they're still there a week or so later, it's likely that the birds in your yard are building nests out of some other material.  It's also possible that you have no nest building birds at that particular time of year. 

Nest building starts early in the year but nest building and repair can go on throughout the summer. The schedule for nest building and the types of nest materials the birds in your area use is highly varied.  So the next time you give your long haired dog a bath and a thorough grooming, save the clean, dry hairs to cushion your friendly neighborhood babies.

Related Information:
Making things from your dog's hair

 

 


 
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