One for the birds

April 1, 2009

luxe avian design

luxe avian design

A small digression from urban yarns and knitting – what are these wool spindle things? Let’s call them garden bird nesting material stations! Here in our wee enclave of Scotland our garden birds including pairs and flocks of blue tits, robins, blackbirds, song thrushes, crows, feral pigeons, collared doves, woodpigeons, great tits, wagtails and dunnocks enjoy the height of luxury when feathering their nests – Alaskan Malamute wool undercoat wrapped round some twigs!

Last year we put a couple of these out a bit late in the nest building season and the blue tits LOVED the fur. We even did a test of Malamute wool versus sheep wool and there was no competition at all: the sheep wool was completely ignored and the Malamute wool disappeared instantly. It is so gratifying on some primal level to watch little birds take and use nest material you’ve offered them.

We put these out and within 10 minutes there was a great tit pulling the wool out. (However he/she didn’t take any and was maybe thinking, “what kind of weird bird feeder is this thing – where are the seeds in here?!”)

one of our resident crows on the birdtable

one of our resident crows on the birdtable


3 Responses to “One for the birds”

  1. Annette Says:

    I think they are fantastic – I better get some bits out for the birds too, maybe even some shed bunny hairs!
    – I feed them every day and put out water!

  2. seattlecrows Says:

    I’m curious, did the crows use any of the fur? I had a 14yo Alaskan Malamute and one year I collected his sheddings and checked a book out from the library on drop-spinning dog fur but I never quite got around to doing it (the fact that nobody else would have worn it because “you just can’t get that stink out” didn’t play a factor)


  3. lullabylily Says:

    Annette – bunny fur! Your birds will be delighted!

    Eric – yes, three crows pulled hunks out the other morning!! i will have to put more out. Also, i had my first Mal’s undercoat hand carded and spun with lambswool and it turned out to be gorgeous yarn. It smells far nicer than sheep’s wool (must have been the eucalyptus wool shampoo!). The thread on Mal wool is so short you need to be an expert, nimble-fingered spinner to spin it, it’s not like sheep wool which is easy to spin. i was disappointed that the lady spun it with lambswool but she told me if it was just Mal wool it would be too hot to wear as a garment (what about polar expeditions?!).

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