Heads up, fiber artists! Interweave.com, one of my go-to yarnie sites, posted an article warning readers that yarn scraps and other man made fibers can harm or even kill birds. I don’t put out scrap yarn myself, but it’s likely that many others do. Here’s the upshot of the article:
Yarn is bad for birds because:
- The fibers can get tangled in the bird’s legs, neck, or wings, cutting off blood or air flow, possibly leading to loss of limbs or death.
- Birds can choke or develop internal obstructions from ingesting it.
- It can tether them to the nest, which will probably lead to starvation or attack by predators.
- The many chemicals that go into yarn production can be deadly to birds, which are tiny and can’t tolerate them.
The article’s author, Sarah Rothberg, comments that birds are master builders who have constructed their own homes for millenia without human intervention. But she suggested several other materials that are safe to provide in the yard, such as twigs, dry grass and straw, pet fur, moss, dead leaves, all free, of course, from pesticides, herbicides, other chemicals, and flea/tick pet medicines.
Who knew? Be kind to our feathered friends, peeps!