Get in Touch

What Can we Help you with?


PSA Dangerous Yarn Scraps for Birds

PSA Dangerous Yarn Scraps for Birds
Yarn scraps; photo used with permission

Yarn scraps can be dangerous for birds! Upon seeing their Carolina Waterfowl Rescue’s post I shared it with GoodKnitKisses Facebook followers and asked if I could quote them on my blog. I’ve seen this photo pasted around over the years and, not being an expert, shrugged it off. I didn’t want to promote using yarn scraps for bird nesting. I didn’t promote it but I wasn’t sure. But upon seeing the post from a Rescue page with warnings and then real solutions I realized GKK should pass along this valuable information along.

I hope this article helps you. Please share this blog or Share their Facebook post with your friends and followers! Thanks! -Kristen

The yarn scraps photos and quote are used with permission by Carolina Waterfowl Rescue

PSA Dangerous Yarn Scraps for Birds

Original post link

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue
Posted on Facebook on March 1, 2016 9:18a CST
“We’ve been seeing a lot of online posts lately suggesting using yarn scraps, twine or other material as outside nesting material for songbirds. While the intentions are good, please do NOT do this.

Yarn and any type of string, twine and even human hair can easily become tangled around birds legs, neck etc. and cut off circulation causing serious injury or even death. We get in many baby songbirds every year missing limbs due to string like materials in a nest.

If you want to have nesting materials in your yard, we suggest purchasing pre-made nesting material or use these natural alternatives.

Cloth Strips: Natural fibers – such as cotton, wool, jute, and burlap – make perfect bird nesting materials. Cut old fabric into pieces 3” to 6” long and no more than 1” wide. Longer pieces are too much for birds to handle and can even strangle them.

Small Yard Debris: Pine straw, wheat straw, and tiny twigs make good bird nest building materials.

Grass Clippings: One of the most common nesting materials, grass clippings can be gathered into balls or simply left mulched into your lawn.

Animal Hair: If you brush or clip your animals, save the fur! It makes a wonderfully soft lining for bird nests. Just don’t use any hair or fur that’s been treated with flea dips or insect repellents.

Cocoa Fiber: Recycle worn-out linings of hanging baskets for bird nesting material.

Plants and Seeds: Fluffy seeds and plants, such as cattails, make good bird nesting materials.

Cloth Batting: Wool or cotton batting cut into 3”- 6” strips makes good nesting material.

Feathers: Providing feathers for nesting material is a great way to recycle old down pillows!

Moss: Sphagnum or Spanish moss make great bird nesting material (make sure it’s not been chemically treated).”

Kristen Mangus
Kristen is a multi-talented entrepreneur with a heart as big as Texas. She is the Owner, Host and Creative Director of GoodKnit Kisses. GoodKnit Kisses is a company positioned to inspire, encourage and empower people through education and design. She’s built a large and loyal on-line community of followers by sharing her personal passion for knitting and all things creative through YouTube video tutorials, Facebook live broadcasts, blogs and patterns. Her vision is to leave an inspired crafting world for future generations that continues to teach and reach others. She and her husband, John, have three amazing kids.


  1. Vicki 1 week ago

    How is cotton scraps ok But not yarn?

  2. Louwra van der Veen 11 months ago

    try telling the local crows about not using pet hair! Everytime I brush my dogs there are always a couple of crows waiting nearby to gather up the fluff!

  3. Elizabeth Ham 12 months ago

    I think it would be better for them to gather the natural things for their nests. grasses and twigs. I know suburbia keeps lawns and trees trim and rakes up everything and cities do not leave parks with grass cutting and tree twigs everywhere! I live in the country, so birds do not need to be provided with nesting materials. It is everywhere!

    Thanks for the info Kristen!

  4. mim 12 months ago

    Birds use human hair, horse and cow tail hair, and scraps of various materials to build nests all the time. I don’t put hair out, but I have found a bird nest in my yard that had blown out of a tree and 90% of it was made from my hair that I shed doing gardening or yard work. I will put out wool roving for them this year because they keep picking apart my coir flower basket liners that are made from long fibers of coconut husk.

  5. Robin 12 months ago

    I appreciate the idea of wool but can not fathom why one would offer cotton since it will not provide warmth once it becomes wet. Wool offers warmth even when it is wet.

  6. alicia vasquez 12 months ago

    bright colors make nests easier by predators- and some dog hair has guard hairs which might be uncomfortable?

  7. M-E Jinno 12 months ago

    I am glad that you posted this and someone just shared it on Knitter’s Paradise. The correct word needs to get out. Thanks for keeping bird lovers as well as fiber workers informed. I have never done this but will give it some thought to leave like wool puffs (un-spun, un-carded wool) etc out for the bird’s nest. It would be cool to find some scrap colorful yarn in a nest but, not worth the dangers.. Thanks again.

  8. Kristy 12 months ago

    What about leaving out 1/2 – 1 inch pieces of cotton yarn or wool yarn for nesting?

    • RockyMtGal 11 months ago

      No yarn at all. They don’t like pet hair either. Please see the photos of all the birds and why even the smallest pieces are problematic.

  9. Marguerite 1 year ago

    I usually put out the combings from my 4 Persian cats I actually watched a large crow take a big clump it then flew onto a roof where there was another crow and shared it so funny !

  10. If yarn is cut in very small pieces 1″ or 2″ would it be OK?
    This would be too short to catch anything.

    • Kristen Mangus Author
      Kristen Mangus 1 year ago

      I’m not sure Nancy but I’m sure it would help.

    • RockyMtGal 11 months ago

      No. No yarn at all. In fact, now they are advising against pet hair too because it is problematic. Please see their FB page and all the photos of birds with even the smallest pieces of yarn caught in their feet.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Style Switcher

Layout options
Header options
Accent Color Examples
Background Examples (boxed-only)
View all options →