What is an Alpaca Bird Nesting Ball, you ask? It is a ball made of grapevine stuffed full of alpaca fiber, for the birds to pluck out and carry away to build nests for their young! Alpaca fiber is very soft, and very warm. Can you just imagine what a comfortable nest a mama bird could build for her babies!
The birds really do use this fiber and I frequently find it when cleaning out birdhouses in the Fall. The grapevine balls are approximately 4″ in diameter and generously filled with 3 ounces or more of alpaca fiber inside, and sticking out of them. Nesting balls hang from a piece of twine, and can be hung on a branch or tied.
Alpaca Bird Nesting Balls make unique gifts for bird loving friends, hard-to-buy-for family members, and gift exchanges. They can also be used as Christmas ornaments. Or enjoy one, two, or three in your own backyard!
Most birds construct nests purely for the purpose of holding their eggs and chicks. However many species will use the nest outside of the nesting season as a place to sleep, so why not help them make it comfortable. Alpaca Wool: A Great Nesting Material for the Birds shows pictures of birds caught in the act of using this wonderful fiber for their nests. For other ways to help the birds, you might want to read Top 10 Ways to Help Nesting Birds. Many birds breed and lay eggs in the spring, but some begin as early as winter, some lay their eggs late in summer, and yet others breed and lay year-round. Alpaca Bird Nesting Balls can be hung outside year round and even when it rains, the alpaca fiber repels the water and dries quickly, retaining its original softness. If you feed the birds, consider hanging a nesting ball or two near your feeders.
The alpaca fiber used in our Alpaca Bird Nesting Balls is considered Seconds and Thirds. The picture of the colorful alpaca above illustrates from what part of the alpaca this fiber comes. Typically the fiber is shorter, and not as fine as the Prime fiber that can be made into yarn. At shearing time, each section of fiber from the alpaca is kept separate, to preserve the integrity of the Prime fiber (also called the Blanket) which is the most uniform in length and fineness. While not all alpaca fiber should be made into yarn, it all can be used for something!
Alpaca Bird Nesting Balls can be used year after year, and can be refilled as the fiber gets used. Refilling them is just a matter of pushing fiber through the holes of the grapevine ball with a pencil, knitting needle, screwdriver, your finger, or some other pokey thing.
Alpaca Bird Nesting Ball Kits are available if you’d like to make your own! This is a very simple fiber craft kit, suitable for both children and adults.
Liven things up a bit with some colored fiber in your nesting balls! This fiber has been hand-dyed with our colorfast Gaywool Dyes. It’s always fun to find colored alpaca fiber in our neighboring bird nests!!
Purchase Alpaca Bird Nesting Balls in Fun Colors by clicking here.
Kits available too!
Fiber from both breeds of alpacas in a variety of hand-dyed and natural colors is used in the nesting balls, and comes from the alpacas that we raise on our farm in Mansfield, Ohio. Did you know that there are two breeds of alpacas? One is called a Suri, the other a Huacaya. Find out the Facts about Alpacas. Suri fiber grows vertical to the alpaca’s body, and huacaya grows horizontal. The Suri is very elegant, the Huacaya is very cute! That’s the difference.
Take a look at more of our Kits here.