Although it may feel like winter is bound and determined to hold on for dear life, it won't be long before spring arrives and with the thaw with come a  breath of new life through nesting birds.

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Each year, we hear about people who do things such as clean out their hairbrush and let the wind take their hair so that birds can snag it for nest building. Other people will leave out yarn or string for birds to use to build their nests.

Bird experts explain that by doing these things, a person is likely causing more hard to birds than help as they often see birds with hair, string, and yarn trapped around their feet. This causes a bird to lose circulation and sometimes it means they lose their foot or even their leg.

Experts also warn that leaving out dryer lint for birds is a hazard, too. Think about it - dryer lint absorbs water. It might able be soaked in chemicals that come from detergent or fabric softeners.

Additionally, pet hair is another thing that you shouldn't leave out for birds. If your pet has been treated for fleas, ticks, or lice, those chemicals will harm a bird who collects it for nesting material.

Birds are quite capable of finding the materials they need for nesting in the form of dried leaves, grass and flower stems, shed snake skins, twigs, and more. If you love birds and want to do something to help them this spring, the best thing you can do is stop using chemicals that poison their food supply, keep cats indoors when baby birds are being born, and plant native plants that attract the native insects birds eat.

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