Lifestyle & Human Interest

Calling All Crocheters: Rescued Baby Birds in Desperate Need of Homemade Nests


My 7-year-old daughter has recently begun to knit. Though it’s somewhat humorous to watch a tiny girl wield giant needles, I also find the sight touching.

Now that she possesses that skill (no matter how rudimentary), she now marks the third generation in a row on my wife’s side who can make fantastic things out of yarn. Sometimes, I have wondered just how practical it is to make things out of yarn.

Now, though, I own multiple garments crafted by these wonderful women. Also, they may one day use their skills to help others — or perhaps even animals.

According to WNYT, a Charlotte, North Carolina, nonprofit want crocheters. The reason why just might surprise you.

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Carolina Waterfowl Rescue Group wants people skilled with crochet hooks and knitting needles to make nests. You might think these are strictly decorative or for fundraising purposes.

However, the group actually uses them to rehabilitate hurt or abandoned birds. WCNC provided the necessary dimensions.

According to the group, volunteers should use several yards of Worsted weight yarn, a size H hook, and “Hold 2 or 3 strands together for a TIGHT stitch!”

Follow these directions for crocheting a nest:

“Starting ring: Crochet 3 chains using 2 or even 3 strands of yarn held together, and slip stitch last chain to first chain to make a loop or ring.

“Round 1: Chain 2 (this counts as your first “stitch), work between 10 – 15 single crochets into th ring (depending on what thickness yarn you are using). Slip stitch the last single crochet to the top stitch in the chain 2 that started this round.

“Round 2: Chain 2. Single crochet into each of the next two stitches, then do 2 single crochet’s into the next stitch, single crochet into the next two stitches, then 2 single crochet’s in the the next stitch. And on and on around the circle. Slip stitch your last single crochet into the top of the chain 2 that started this round.

“Round 3, 4, 5, 6, and on: Repeat Round 2 over and over, until your circle is at least 3” big. You can make your nest with a bottom as small as 3” big, up to maybe 6” big.”

“Once you have made the bottom of the nest from 3” to 6” big, from all rounds thereafter, crochet ONE single crochet into each stitch. You will see your “sides” begin to form. Crochet until the sides are about 2 – 3” high. Bind off and weave in loose ends”

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To view the instructions for knitting the nests, head to WCNC for the step-by-step breakdown.

Believe it or not, such man-made nests make regular appearances in wildlife rescue work. In 2015, the Huffington Post reported on the work of a Canadian woman named Katie Deline-Ray.

Dubbed the “crazy nest lady,” Deline-Ray started making the nests in 2013. She was recovering from a hand injury and found herself lost in some odd corners of the internet.

During her search, she discovered that another woman had begun making these crocheted nests. It turned out that she wanted a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to the cardboard boxes many rescue groups used.

“I thought it was a such a wonderful and kind idea and went searching to see whether there was anything like it set up for our wildlife rescues in Canada,” Deline-Ray said. “To my surprise there wasn’t.

“So I started contacting wildlife rescues and they were very interested in the idea and agreed to try some out.” That was when Deline-Ray got the idea to form Wildlife Rescue Nests, a nonprofit that shares these shelters with other nonprofit.

Now when I say “share,” that’s exactly what I mean. Deline-Ray always gives them away for free.

“She sent us a few samples last spring, and we have not stopped using them since,” Monika Melichar, president of the Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary, stated. “The little ones love the snug feeling the nest provides, and feel safe and protected.”

If you decide to knit or crochet a nest to help baby birds in need, mail them to:


P.O. box 1484

Indian trail NC 28079

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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