By Andrea Tomkins
When I was a kid, one of my favourite scenes in Bambi was when the wise old owl attempts to explain the rowdy behaviour of the woodland birds. It came after a song called “Let’s Sing a Song about Springtime,” which I used to play on my record player over and over again.
The scene with owl still makes me smile. His explanation is remarkably apt, isn’t it?
We’ve had a stretch of unbelievably fantastic weather here in Ottawa and we’re not the only ones who have been enjoying it. Our backyard has been a cacophony of birdsong. They are undeniably twitterpated and as good citizens of the world it is our duty to help them out. Or at the very least, contribute some worthwhile building materials.
Originally I had hoped this project would look like a giant wooly Easter egg. If you squint your eyes you might be able to recognize our intended shape. Ha. Oh well. It didn’t turn out exactly the way we wanted but it still serves an honourable purpose. And it was a quick and fun little after-school project too!
What you’ll need:
• A netted bag (this one is from a small bag of onions)
• Dog hair (Animal hair is favourite nesting material for birds! We also supplemented with llama wool we brought back from a holiday to Smuggler’s Notch last year. Lucky birds eh?)
• Bits of yarn (I was aiming for Easter colours here)
• Polyester pillow stuffing, “torn” into small bits (this is available from the fabric store, but we happened to have some lying around)
• Ribbon (enough to secure your bag to a tree)
We used to hang bits of dryer fluff outside, but I’ve read that dryer fluff is not good nesting material because it hardens if it gets wet, whereas fur and yarn will dry soft. (And we like soft beds, so why wouldn’t a bird?)
1. Fill the bag with your nesting materials and hang it up in a nearby tree.
Your avian friends will thank you!
The best thing about this craft—and it’s happened to us before—is eventually finding donated nesting materials woven into nests. Look at this Black-Capped Chickadee nest we found in our backyard. It’s full of dog hair and moss. Isn’t that neat?
Andrea Tomkins is a mother of two imps, and wife of one. You can follow her adventures on her blog, a peek inside the fishbowl, where she’s been writing about family life since 1999. She’ll be sharing a great new craft idea here at CF.ca every Friday.