Dryer Lint it’s for the Birds

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We are just weeks away from Spring, even though you would never know it in my neck of the woods, and for me it’s time to start saving dryer lint. Funny right? But yes I am saving dryer lint for the birds. It’s a tradition I started after my cousin Kimm passed. He saved his dryer lint for the birds all winter long, and when spring arrived he would scatter it on the bushes out front of his house and watch as the birds carted it off piece by piece.


Dryer Lint it's for the Birds


Kimm’s life was cut short by a childhood illness, Reye Syndrome, which caused liver failure leading to his death. One of the last times I was with him I asked if there was anything that needed to be done and he said, “yes the laundry was piling up” so to the basement I headed to catch it up. While there I noticed a large bag full of dryer lint and asked him if he would like for me to take it to the trash. He quickly said, “NO, he had been saving it all winter long for the birds.” Kimm was a funny fellow and I mean he had a sense of humor like no one else so I went along with him and asked, “what will the birds be doing with all this lint?” He proceeded to tell me how he would leave the lint on the trees and bushes, watch the birds fly off with their find, and later he would drive through the neighborhood looking for bird nests with small bits of dryer lint woven into their intricate nests. 


I thought what a brilliant idea, as well as it being something he enjoyed doing. So from that day forward I started saving my dryer lint every spring for the birds and with every load of laundry I think of Kimm.  Maybe this is something you would like to do too if you are a bird lover? ๐Ÿ™‚






  1. says

    How lovely to carry on a tradition in honour of your cousin.
    I must admit I save dryer lint and all the odd snips of yarn when making projects … for the same purpose that you do … to put out for the nesting season. A gift this year was a small bird cage (about 6 inches high) filled with Alpaca fleece specifically to hang out side. I will be posting about it soon.
    The birds are lucky around your home as they will soon have nice cozy nests for their babies ๐Ÿ™‚

    • says

      Linda what a brilliant idea a cage for all the bird nest makings. I sure hope Spring comes this year at this rate the birds will never return with all this snow.

  2. says

    And a squirrel lover too! We put out lots of food for the birdsโ€ฆ.and the squirrels help themselves. Which is fine with us. We have a small birdhouse on a post in the front of the house & last summer a mama chickadee had her nest & babies in there. A great hiding spot as the larger birds cannot fit in. We noticed the birds pulling at our burlap covering our shrubsโ€ฆthey use it for their nests!.


    • says

      Charlotte, I bet they love the burlap…very sturdy for nest making.

  3. says

    What a great idea. Birds are already busy here. We even have two hawks out by the pond each day. I bet they could use a lot of lint for the size nest they build.

    • says

      Kim, you are so lucky to be seeing glimpses of Spring, we are still buried in snow here. I hope Spring can find us this year.

  4. Cynthia says

    With all the never ending laundry I do, this is a great idea, & I’m going to start too. I do brush the dog outside when weather permits & let her hair blow where it may for the feathered friends.

    • says

      Cynthia, I do the same with pet hair. I get enough off my dog to supply all the birds around with nest material. LOL

  5. Kris says

    Dawn, what a lovely story! I am sorry for your loss. But surely Kimm is smiling down on you, as you carry out his tradition to help the birds. I do this too. Along with bits of yarn. It is fun to see this in the many nests here on our property!
    Spring will come. Hang in there!
    XO Kris

    • says

      Kris, I am so surprised to hear of so many people doing this. I hope to get some photos this year of nesting material.

  6. Marcia says

    You have inspired me to start a lint collection! Something fun to plan for a hopeful spring.

    • says

      Marcia, you are so right it gives us something to look forward too. I sure hope spring comes here soon I am getting tired of all the snow.

  7. says

    What a wonderful story and what a brilliant idea for the birds. Thanks for sharing this. This is one of my most favorite posts of yours. Now I will save my dryer lint. Too sweet.

    • says

      Kris, so glad you will be helping the birds with their nests. It is great fun to watch them work it into their nests.

  8. says

    My sister gathers lint and yarn and pet hair and she puts it together and hangs it from a tree for the birds to use for their nests. I’m going to save my dryer lint. Whenever I clean the vent outdoors I drop the lint to the ground for the birds, but I’ll start to save the lint from the lint trap, as well.

    • says

      Claudia, you will have such fun seeing the birds cart it off and later found it all worked into their nests.

  9. says

    This is so sweet! I love to find birds’ nests and see all the little bits of creative things that they used to build it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • says

      Susan, it is amazing the things they find to use.

  10. Carolyn G. says

    Great idea and what a wonderful memorial to your loved one!

    • says

      Carolyn, he would certainly get a chuckle out of it.

  11. says

    What a great idea. I will start doing this for your cousin. He must have been a special person. I lost a very special cousin 3 years ago suddenly . (H1N1)
    Thanks for sharing.

    • says

      Debby, how wonderful thank you for carrying on the tradition.

  12. says

    Thanks for sharing Kimm’s great idea! I’ll start saving it today. I love having birds around and look forward to helping them create a soft spot for their babies.


    • says

      Pam, how fun so glad you like the idea and are giving it a try. It makes me happy ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Annette Tracy says

    Such a beautiful way to preserve his memory. I always toss the dog hair from brushings into the wind for the birds, but will start my dryer lint collection now. Can’t wait to look for nests!

    • says

      Annette, wonderful so glad you will be helping our feathered friends ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. says

    Dawn this is a great memorial to your cousin! I am always making sure that my feeders are full during the winter for those birds who choose not to fly south..but I never thought to help with their nests in the spring – I might just start keeping my lint – this is a great idea!

    • says

      Cheryl, it would be great if you helped them with their nest. With all the feed and nesting material they will never want to leave.

  15. says

    What a sweet story and a great idea, Dawn. xo Laura

    • says

      Thank you for stopping by Laura, have a wonderful week ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. says

    Iโ€™m sorry for your loss, he sounds like quite an amazing fellow. I would have never thought how lint could be reused!

  17. says

    It must have been hard to lose a cousin at so young an age.
    It was sweet of you to be there for him to help him out.
    I love his idea of using dryer lint for birds nest. I’m no
    longer using my dryer, but it’s got me to thinking of other
    stuff I might throw out for there nest!

    • says

      Kim, scraps of yarn and small pieces of material work too.

  18. Pat Kichinko says

    I will save all of my dryer lint from now on. I actually WANT to go do the laundry right now!

    • says

      Pat, you are to funny, and thanks for carrying on the tradition.

  19. Jaybird says

    We do that too….it makes a nice cozy baby bed :^) One of the Jenny wrens who populate our neighborhood, has a nest full of lint in one of my flower pots. She comes back to it every spring….in fact, she was checking it over last weekend to see what repairs it might need. I put a handful of lint out there this week so that she can have new fluffs for her babies. They like freshly cut hair too…and threads. Be sure to chop the threads sort of short so that they don’t get long strings which could wrap around and strangle a baby.
    Blessings to you,

    • says

      J, what at wonderful idea. I am also a stylist so I always have hair available.

  20. says

    Just pulled my dryer lint out of the trash! Thanks for a great idea, I’m going to get a cute jar to save it all in my laundry room. And I’ll think of you and your dear cousin every day now ๐Ÿ™‚

    • says

      Andrea, wonderful thank you for helping the birds out.

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