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Dryer Lint is NOT Nesting Material

Very Important! Please be careful what you offer your backyard birds for their nests. Don’t offer any materials that have been chemically treated in any way. If in doubt, don’t leave it out.

Here’s a list of DON’Ts from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

  • Dryer lint. There are many reasons dryer lint is not good for nesting birds and their babies. From the start, it’s not really helping your birds build a better nest. Almost the opposite, actually! After being rained on and drying out, dryer lint just…crumbles. Additionally, if you use softener sheets in your dryer, that means nesting parents are placing all their eggs in one crumbly—structurally vulnerable—nest with added chemicals.
  • Dog or cat fur. Especially if your pets take flea medication or are bathed using flea shampoo.
  • Hair. Including your own (shampooed and conditioned) hair!
  • Plastic strips
  • Tinsel
  • Cellophane
  • Aluminum foil

So, what nesting material is best to offer?

DOs – Cornell Lab recommends the following, in any combination:

  • Dead twigs
  • Dead leaves
  • Dry grass (make sure the grass hadn’t been treated with pesticides)
  • Feathers
  • Plant fluff or down (e.g. cattail fluff, cottonwood down)
  • Moss
  • Bark strips
  • Pine needles

More about natural nesting material from Cornell Lab’s Allaboutbirds.org:

Fallen leaves and twigs left unraked make excellent nest materials for many birds. Providing nooks in your backyard where this untidy debris can collect provides a variety of material for the birds to check out when they are building nests. They may even pick through your compost pile looking for suitable nest material.

For more info, including how/where to offer nesting material to your birds, refer to The Cornell Lab’s post on nesting material here .

Want to make your backyard a nesting paradise for them while making it super-easy for yourself?  Offer our natural nesting material as an extra enticement. Some of our favorites: