Your shedding dog can help birds this spring

When birds start constructing their elaborate nests in spring, they look for all sorts of building materials. They search for twigs and leaves, moss and fluff, writes the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and will look for various items wherever they can find them.

You can help provide nesting material by either growing them in your yard or by making them easily accessible and, if you’re a dog owner, one fluffy material that can provide warmth and softness is dog hair.

There are benefits to your four-legged friend’s furry castoffs. “Animal fiber works well for nesting, because it is durable and not inclined to soak up water. Just don’t use any fur that has been treated with flea dips or insect repellents,” the NWF says.

But don’t offer human hair which is so thin that it can wrap about a bird’s legs and neck, cutting off circulation, causing injury or death. Also avoid dryer lint, which may seem like a soft, fuzzy material but it can absorb water and may also be full of laundry chemicals.

The NWF suggests stuffing fur into an empty suet feeder or filling a wire whisk with fur and then hanging it by its handle from a tree or shrub, so it’s easy for birds to pull hair for their nests.

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