Yarn is Not For the Birds
A highly controversial practice is leaving yarn out for the birds to gather to assist building their nests. Some yarn users save their tails and put them outside where birds can gather them up when building their nests. Ultimately, I leave it to your discretion on what you do but I want you to think about a few things.
- Birds have been around and nesting most likely before the dawn of what we call humanity.
- Yarns many of us use today are acrylic or poly blends. Where fibres have been washed, dyed and made from materials invented by the human species.
- While it is natural for a bird to see something that catches their interest to gather or collect. We humans also need to do our part to ensure that birds stay being birds and gather the natural materials that they should be. Whether it’s grasses, sticks, mud and etc.
The Dangers of Yarn
- Yarn inside a bird nest can rot the eggs and also kill the baby birds through hyperthermia. Think about it, wet a strand of yarn and leave it out. See how long it takes for that fiber to completely dry. While natural materials in a nest made up fo twigs, grasses and mud will get wet when it rains, the water naturally escapes within a quick time frame keeping the nest relatively dry.
- A baby bird can get tangled into the yarn and it’s unnatural. Think about how much effort it takes to break a strand of yarn. A baby has no hope.
- A mother bird going to and from the nest while it’s raining can expose the nest to water. The water in the fibers just hangs onto the yarn. It’s like us humans going to take a swim with our jeans on and leaving the jeans on until they fully dry. We will become cold and uncomfortable. Our skin will shrivel and we could likely get sick.
- Baby birds can pick at the yarn inside the nest and even swallow it. If they swallow grass or twigs, it’s a natural substance, yarn isn’t and can stay within the gut of a creature.
Most nests that birds do are our of sight of human eyes. So letting a bird take your yarn to make your nest is for whose benefit anyway? Birds are not about home decor of having the nest stand out. They want their nests to blend in with the environment to make them harder to see by predators.
Ultimately The Decision is Yours
Here in Nova Scotia, we are surrounded by so many species of birds such as Eagles, Falcons, Owls, regular tree birds and other critters like Chipmunks, Squirrels, Raccoons, Woodland Mice and even one Ringneck Pheasant that has chosen our property to live on.
Think about the creatures that surround you. Us humans are so used to surrounding ourselves with artificial things that we forget about what is natural to us. We have to let the wildlife be wildlife without too much human intervention. You may accidentally be killing creatures that you may have never seen that live within your region. Just something to think about.