Birds Say, “Keep Your Distance.”


House Sparrow gathering nesting materials.

Nesting birds really don’t want us around. They go about their business gathering nesting supplies without our assistance but we can help them anyway.


Tree Swallow with feathers

When I had my two large northern breed dogs, a Samoyed and an Akita, I would save all their fluffy white hair for the birds each spring. I would just drop it on the lawn and birds would shower the garden carrying off as much as they could and still fly. They took it as fast as I put it out there. It was like lining a palace it was so soft. I have a pet cockatoo also that molts in spring, so I gather his down feathers when I clean his cage. The outdoor birds like that too.


Another thing to consider is holding off trimming the hedges. A few birds use them for nesting. Now I have a robin family in my Arborvitae.


Helping birds replace calcium used in making eggs, I put out crumbled egg shells for them. Squirrels also need calcium and will benefit.


Flying Meadowlark

Keep fields and meadows long and grassy all summer long. Field sparrows, prairie warblers, meadowlark, bobolinks, and other birds will be able to nest in peace. I was just at such a place today. I saw so many bobolink and bluebird pairs. Such a relaxing day.

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28 Responses to Birds Say, “Keep Your Distance.”

  1. aussiebirder says:

    That’s a wonderful help to our feathered friends and great advice for helping them nest, It is a very delightful blessing to be able to assist them. I love the flight shots Donna, well done!

    • donna213 says:

      Thank you. getting little birds in flight at a nature park is no easy thing. They hardly ever are close enough. Most were even too far away in these images. I like having them in my garden, so anything to make them stay is my motto!

  2. I’ve never heard of scattering dog fur to aid nesting birds before…very logical.
    Back in the day, my friends with the Samoyeds would use their abundant fur to spin into yarn…

  3. My Heartsong says:

    Alot of the birds collect bison hair , it is neat to know that they come and pick up the dog hair soquickly./was watching the sparrows last year at a friends both parents bring food-changed my negative view of this common breed.Enjoyed the photos and the story .

    • donna213 says:

      I bet they do. I see birds in nature with fur sometimes. I have no ill feelings towards House Sparrows. They get a very bad rap and I am not sure all they say is true. The sparrows above were in a nature preserve, so they were at least where they belong. They had a nest right beside the bluebirds at one set of boxes. The other set of boxes had bluebirds and a tree swallow family.

  4. Robins are making a nest somewhere, possibly in the pine tree outside my office window. I can’t see the nest, but I have seen them chase a squirrel onto the neighbor’s roof, so the nest must be somewhere close by.

    • donna213 says:

      I also have a catbird family. I cannot find the nest though, but know it is in the garden. I keep waiting for them to attack me when I get close. So far I can’t find it.

  5. Looks like a banner year for tree swallows here, taking over all my bluebird houses. One house wren also has found a vacancy.

    • donna213 says:

      Tree swallows get the lion share of boxes here too. Above, there is some reason for having the boxes so close to each other. Bluebirds are always in the box next to another species of bird in the neighboring box.

  6. Lyle Krahn says:

    You are helpful. I wouldn’t have thot of that.

  7. alesiablogs says:

    look at you getting those shots in flight!!!!! love love them!!!

  8. Great ideas Donna…I did not know about the eggs..

  9. That’s brilliant advice Donna and it certainly helps them build there nests so much quicker … Some excellent photography there as well capturing such small birds in flight … brilliant.

    • donna213 says:

      Thank you much, Marco. You have the best bird and nature images on your website. I am astounded by every one and wish to someday be that good. I would hope my readers stop by your site.

  10. Pat says:

    I love to watch the birds gather nest material After brushing the dog, I leave the hair where they find it. Also bits of yarn and string in hanging net bag or suet cage.

  11. Tiny says:

    Wonderful ways to help nesting birds! Beautiful shots too.

  12. Jenna says:

    Such wonderful advice about helping birds. Good ideas! I often put out hair clippings after a haircut (my mom cuts my hair sometimes), and birds love that for nesting. I once found a tiny nest made almost entirely with my hair. Very cool! 🙂 Great post!

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