For years we raised livestock…Saanen dairy goats, horse and pony and a calf here and there.  Naturally in the spring these animals would shed their winter coats in preparation for the long hot summer.  Many nights were spent combing and grooming the animals, including our dog and cats, in order to assist them in refining their summer attire.  As spring progressed it was always a delight to look up and see how the birds had used this soft material to line their nests. 
 
We have a phoebe that nests in our barn’s loafing shed each year.  She faithfully weaves  animal hair inside of her nest to prepare a soft, warm environment for her eggs.  What a marvel it is to see the craftsmanship and ingenuity of these birds! 
It is amazing!

Picture source:  http://eastgwillimburywow.blogspot.com/2013/04/eastern-phoebewild-bird.html
 
 
This is a nest we found in our yard after a wind storm that has a lining of goat hair.
 

Here’s a fun activity for your family to try from the book Miraculous, Magical Moments in Minutes:  Over 500 Quick, Easy Activities for Adults and Children to Share by Becky Baxa (available in paper back and Kindle edition from Amazon.com)

NEST ENHANCERS 

Lay out short pieces of colorful yarn somewhere in your yard.

Ideas for yarn containers/placement:

        Place the yarn in an empty plastic fruit container (from the produce department or any other
        plastic container) or fill an unused suet cage and set it on top of a post or picnic table. 

       You could hang it on an iron shepherds hook that is not quite ready for your hanging flower
        planter.  

       Yarn could be placed in a mesh bag (like oranges or potatoes come in from the grocery store) and
       hang it from a tree branch.

      Decorate a bush or small tree by draping colorful pieces of yarn over the branches.

Tip:  make sure the yarn is placed high enough away from predators and somewhere where the birds
           feel safe.

For the first day of spring. Birds will take a string (or multiples) and weave them into their nests!
Photo Source:  http://www.fiberfarm.com/2011/03/the-first-day-of-spring

                                                 

 As time progresses, become nature observers and watch for evidence that the birds
have used your donation in their nest building efforts. 
 
Watch the yarn… is it disappearing or becoming frayed? 
 
Watch birds nesting behaviors to see where nests are being built.  Then, carefully and respectfully sneak a peek to see the masterpieces that have been built!

Photo source:  http://cache.lionbrand.com/Newsletters/29178.html

What other signs of Spring can you find?  Go on a Spring Scavenger Hunt!
Explore and Have FUN!
 

 

            

            

Source:

Miraculous, Magical Moments in Minutes:

Over 500 Quick, Easy Activities for Adults and Children to Share

by Becky Baxa
Available from http://www.Amazon.com
in both Kindle and Paperback versions

 

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