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Dryer Lint it’s for the Birds

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? 🙂





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  1. 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 🙂

    1. 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. I was always under the impression that dryer lint was bad for the birds, unless it was all cotton. Is this not true?

      1. Sandra Glover says:

        I also recently read a Pinterest post that dryer lint is not good. When it gets wet, it crumbles. I’m afraid the nest might crumble away. ?

  2. And a squirrel lover too! We put out lots of food for the birds….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 shrubs…they use it for their nests!.


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

  3. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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

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

    1. 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. Dawn,
    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.

    1. 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. 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.

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

  9. 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! 🙂

    1. 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!

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

  11. 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.

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

  12. 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.


    1. Pam, how fun so glad you like the idea and are giving it a try. It makes me happy 🙂

  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!

    1. Annette, wonderful so glad you will be helping our feathered friends 🙂

  14. 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!

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

    1. Thank you for stopping by Laura, have a wonderful week 🙂

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

  17. Dawn
    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!

    1. 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!

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

  19. 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,

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

  20. 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 🙂

    1. Andrea, wonderful thank you for helping the birds out.

  21. I was considering doing this also but I ran across an article on an ornithology site that said not to offer birds dryer lint?! The reason is because after it gets wet it supposedly becomes brittle when dry. But who do you think is a more reliable expert when it comes to birds…..the man or the bird himself? I say, if the birds like it….let them use it….they are the ones living in the nest! Thank you for sharing your personal and lovely story. I’m off to do the laundry!

    1. Molly I agree I bet the bird knows best. I don’t use fabric softener and only organic detergent so I feel it’s as safe as I can make it.

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