I have a friend in Cincinnati who runs a business, GreenBird, that makes a number of earth friendly products for meeting the needs of our bird population. Among his products is a Nesting Material Box which is an easily assembled paper box, stuffed with alpaca hair, that you hang from a tree branch and songbirds pull out tufts of hair to use in lining their nests.
Seeing a recent ad for his products reminded me of a couple of similar experiences we’ve had around the house. For years we had a round hole cut in a screen door coming into our enclosed deck. The cats and dog would use this as they went in and out of the house during warm weather. Over a time their hair would rub off and collect along the edges of this hole and in the spring the various nesting birds would fly down and gather this for nest lining material.
On another occasion my wife was sun bathing on our deck. she was laying on her front quietly reading a book she had resting on the deck flooring. Suddenly she became aware of something gently pulling at her hair. She continued to lay very still while a small house wren proceeded to pull hairs from her head and carry them back to where she was building her next. All in all the bird repeated the process for well over an hour. My wife is an animal lover and nothing could have given her greater pleasure.