Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: Having nesting material for Hummingbirds and other birds!

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Name: Sheridragonfly/Sheri
Alabama (Zone 8b)
Salvias Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Sheridragonfly
Apr 4, 2015 12:41 PM CST
About 10 foot from my hummingbird feeder I decided to hang
a red suet metal feeder and I placed unscented cotton balls
inside it!
I noticed that a bird had already pulled some unscented cotton
from within the suet container!
Wanted to share this with you and some photos today!
I have 2 ruby red throat humminbirds that arrived here about
mid march this year!
Sheri/sheridragonfly
Thumb of 2015-04-04/Sheridragonfly/ada342


Thumb of 2015-04-04/Sheridragonfly/5507de

Name: Beverly
Colima, Mexico (Zone 11a)
Butterflies Organic Gardener Tropicals Native Plants and Wildflowers Seed Starter
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vitrsna
Apr 6, 2015 10:45 AM CST
I agree what a good reminder for us to help our bird friends in this way. I use coir (inexpensive in my area which is filled to bursting with coconuts) as mulch, especially in container plants and the birds love to snitch this, including the hummers) and carry some off for nesting. They are not always particularly tidy about it but i don't care. Big birds, little birds, who knows what else, but it makes me really happy to know that the garden is supporting the birds in this way. Smiling
Name: BrendaVR
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Dragonflies Butterflies Region: Canadian
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BrendaVR
Apr 12, 2015 6:58 AM CST
Yep, this is a great way to help. I love providing nesting material. I put out a 'feeder' with various materials; brushings from my cats (loved by the chickadees), raw (unprocessed) cotton, feathers and loose coir (if I can find it...It's hard to find loose around here...but if I DON'T offer it the Crows have learned to pull up my coir plant pots, unwrap it from the plants rootball and take those! Erk! Boy was I confused what was happening to my plantings until I caught one in the act!) Each bird species seems to have a specific preference so a nice variate of options is nice.
If we had no holes in our leaves we would have no butterflies!
Name: Kim
Beaver Falls, PA (Zone 6a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Orchids Region: Pennsylvania Birds Ferns Dog Lover
Butterflies Container Gardener Frogs and Toads Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Level 2
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klc
Apr 12, 2015 7:18 AM CST
OK Brenda...I had to look up "coir"... I call it coconut fiber!! I bet it was quite a shock to see the crows after your plants!! They are just way too clever for their own good!! Hilarious!

I need to find something red to put my materials into.....have some raw combed cotton, TONS of dog hair from my 2 labs getting rid of their winter coats and some yarn to cut up.

Thumbs up
I hate losing plants....I know they are "just plants" but when you nurse them along and baby them and get them to grow, bloom, and be pretty and they die....it's like losing a friend..... Crying
[Last edited by klc - Jun 25, 2015 6:55 AM (+)]
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Name: BrendaVR
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Dragonflies Butterflies Region: Canadian
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BrendaVR
Apr 12, 2015 3:17 PM CST
Oh my, I just put mine up while working in the yard this afternoon and not an hour later I see some chickadees visiting! Guess its not to early here!
If we had no holes in our leaves we would have no butterflies!
Name: BrendaVR
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Dragonflies Butterflies Region: Canadian
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BrendaVR
Apr 12, 2015 3:29 PM CST
PS: klc Your probably right, the loose stuff should be called coconut fiber...but for some reason they market the solid, semi-solid formed products (like the plant pots) as "Coir"...maybe the marketers wanted something shorter to say? Something new and exotic sounding?
The crows are way too clever....but once I figured it out I just left some old damaged pots out for them to have and we were both happy!

PS: where do you guys get your coconut fiber?

PSS: some other good offerings are milkweed fluff and cattail heads (especially in urban areas with none nearby naturally)
If we had no holes in our leaves we would have no butterflies!
[Last edited by BrendaVR - Apr 12, 2015 5:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Sheridragonfly/Sheri
Alabama (Zone 8b)
Salvias Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Sheridragonfly
Apr 12, 2015 5:42 PM CST
glad you all posted ..
Sheri/sheridragonfly
Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Plays in the sandbox Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Gulf Coast Tip Photographer The WITWIT Badge
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds Plumerias Hummingbirder Dog Lover
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gingin
Jun 13, 2015 12:29 PM CST
I put out the hair from my dogs for the birds. Close to nesting season I brush them and just let the fur fly in addition to putting it out in suet feeders. Then I save it in the summer/winter for spring. Already have enough saved up for next year. If you use topical flea stuff (like advantage) just let it sit for a week or two before putting it out for the birds. Love 800#s when I have a question.
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Name: Jolana
Mountain City, Tx (Zone 8b)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge Region: Texas Garden Art Irises
Daylilies Butterflies Dragonflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers Hibiscus
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froggardener
Jun 21, 2015 4:48 PM CST
Ginger, I am so glad to read this my hubs thinks that is so weird that I do that but the birds always use it all. They help me just as much as me helping them all spring and summer Thumbs up
Gardening is learning, learning, learning. That's the fun of them.
You're always learning !
Helen Mirren
Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Plays in the sandbox Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Gulf Coast Tip Photographer The WITWIT Badge
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds Plumerias Hummingbirder Dog Lover
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gingin
Jul 1, 2015 12:05 PM CST
Dog hair is also safer to use then people hair...less chance of it getting tangled around baby birdie legs.
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Aug 14, 2015 11:44 AM CST
I throw my boys' hair cuttings outside, and use my own hair from the hairbrush. Because it is so long, I cut it into several chunks before putting it into a suet cage. We got the Orioles to stay for nesting when they used to leave when the urge hit. They like horse hair and we have neighbours with horses on the other end of our section. And Chipping Sparrows used to be called Hair Sparrows for a reason. Smiling

We don't often use yarn, but one of the children's play things was attractive to a robin. He had a stick with a long piece of white yarn attached to it that was just laying in the yard. He saw the bird's struggle, so cut the yarn up into little pieces.

We had to help this Oriole and put a suet cage full of hair near this spot.
Thumb of 2015-08-14/Chillybean/246e85 Thumb of 2015-08-14/Chillybean/bde1da

We save our duck's molted feathers for the birds. Most often Swallows take to them, but we had a Robin fill her nest with them one summer. The birds do not use the large wing feathers, but most of the others are about the right size.
Thumb of 2015-08-14/Chillybean/34c7ca

This was not one of our feathers, but a Great Horned Owl feather one of the children found in the yard. I flang it into the air after taking a picture of it. And here comes Mrs. Tree Swallow swooping after it. She had a struggle to get it in, lost hold a time or two, when Barn Swallows came after the feather, but finally she was able to get it into the box!
Thumb of 2015-08-14/Chillybean/8b0fd8

Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Plays in the sandbox Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Gulf Coast Tip Photographer The WITWIT Badge
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds Plumerias Hummingbirder Dog Lover
Image
gingin
Aug 17, 2015 11:05 AM CST
Wow, Kim....love your stories and pics Thumbs up Thumbs up and yes, cutting people hair into smaller pieces does make it safer for the birds Smiling
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.

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