Mar 4, 2020 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, February 2019

Ask Birdsquatch: Furry Enlightenment

Is it all right to contribute human hair as nesting material for birds? See what Birdsquatch says.
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Hey Furball:

I want to give the birds some natural nesting material this spring. Can I put out the long gray hairs that were just cut from my head? I decided it was time to lose the mullet. I’m looking for enlightenment here. You’re so hairy I figured you’d know.

—Dandy Dan
Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Dear Dandy Dan,

Guilty as charged! I am furry. And each spring I pretend to be asleep in the woods so the chickadees and titmice can "steal" some of my fur for their nests.

Human hair is fine to put out for birds to use in nest building, provided the pieces are not longer than two inches. Longer strands of hair or other fibers (yarn, string, pet or animal hair) can twist around the legs of nestlings and cause problems. So, cut your flowing locks into short pieces and offer them in a dry place. I like to use a fine-mesh onion bag for such offerings. Things not to offer include dryer lint, cotton balls, and strips of paper, all of which retain moisture, which can affect thermoregulation in the nest.

As for finding enlightenment, cutting off your mullet is a great start down that path.



About Birdsquatch

Birdsquatch is WBB's tall, hairy, and slightly stinky columnist. He is a bigfoot who has watched birds all his life. His home range is unknown.

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