Hats Off to Our Feathered Friends!

Here’s an idea for not only recycling, but helping our feathered friends.

After our mother passed on, we were left with a lot of her clothing and other personal items.  Among those items were two hats – one was an old round fur cap with a liner (probably from back in the 40’s), and a fairly new bucket style sunhat to wear while outside gardening.

I took the round fur cap, turned it inside out, and punched 4 holes in it (evenly apart approximately one inch from the edge).  Then I fastened some twine (can use string).  I mounted the hat inside out (fur side “in”) placed it in the densest part of a very thick, bushy tree where I knew birds tended to nest (see photo), and secured it by tying the twine to adjoining branches to keep it from blowing away in bad weather.

My hope was that once the birds discovered this cozy fur-lined cap, nestled securely by the twine and hidden from predators, that one of them would build a nest.   When spring came, with gloves on, I gently pulled away the branches, careful not to get too close to where I placed our mother’s hat.  I was thrilled to see that not only did a bird claim it as her nest, but actually built an entire wall of mud and leaves around the cap and even added a roof!   Wow, talk about your luxury bird condos!

At first my sister was horrified that I did this to our mom’s old hat – but then she realized that mom would understand that while we valued everything she left behind, some things we just had to let go of.  Then we chuckled, because knowing our mom, she probably would laugh at my idea and then tell me it was a good one!

I still have mom’s bucket sunhat shown here and by the time you read this article, it too, will be mounted in a nearby dense bush or tree for another feathered friend to enjoy.   Since this hat is quite a bit larger than mom’s old fur hat, I’m curious to see what kind of birds decide to take this one over – it will be a bird mansion!

And every time I look out at that bushy tree, I smile when I think of the bird’s nest, hidden deep inside, and know that a piece of our mom is out there too – among nature, surrounded by flowers – and that’s where she loved to be!

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