Baby birds in a knitted nest graphic
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Why do we need nests?
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Baby birds in knitted nests. Photo by Melanie Piazza

How can I help?

Please complete the form below to request the nest patterns. Once you hit "submit" on the form, you will receive an email with a link to the patterns. Both knitting and crochet patterns are available.

Please note: WildCare's Baby Bird Nest Campaign will end on August 31, 2015.
We will not be accepting nests after that date. Please mail any completed nests before that date, and then set the patterns aside until next spring. Thank you!

There are three different sizes of warm nests that baby birds need. A single baby bird will need a small size nest, but a group of birds will need to be placed in a medium or a large size nest, depending on species. Four finches will find a medium nest to be perfect, while four baby Scrub Jays definitely need the larger size. As of the beginning of the campaign, we are requesting more large-size nests, but that may change.

After you finish your nest, fill out the Baby Bird Nest Donation Information Form (PDF) and mail it to the address on the bottom of the form with your nest(s). Please mail any completed nests before August 31, 2015. 


Nest Pattern Request Form

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Why do we need nests?

Orphaned baby birds need to be kept warm. Fabric nests provide them with warmth and cushioning while they’re cared for at our wildlife hospital. Rescuers feed the baby birds throughout the day, washing and replacing the nests with clean ones daily. Woolen nests are perfect.

Why do you have so many different patterns? We have three nest pattern sizes for both knitted and crocheted nests because fledglings come in different sizes. Orphaned fledgling doves need a large nest, but orphaned hummingbirds need a small one.

Is this like penguin sweaters? Do you really need nests or are you going to sell them for money? We really need nests. Our Birdroom director at WildCare says they’re like towels in a nursery, one can never have too many. Our commitment is that every nest that meets the safety specifications for baby birds will go to a bird rescue facility.

Why do you need so many nests?  Because bird poop happens. Nests get very dirty over the course of a day in the Birdroom. Each baby bird must be fed approximately every 45 minutes from dawn till dusk. Although the nests are lined with tissue, they still get dirty from food and poop and need to be changed. When your baby birds need to be cleaned, you just put them into a new nest and put the old one into the dirty laundry basket.

Why do you need so many nests at one time during the year? The biological cycle of many types of baby birds is such that the eggs are laid and hatched in the warm months of late spring and early summer. Some of these baby birds become orphaned for a variety of reasons: they fall out of trees, their mothers die, or their habitats get disturbed.

There are hundreds of licensed bird rescue groups across the US that take in these baby birds when humans find them and rehabilitate them until they can be released back into the wild.

Do you accept crocheted nests?  Yes! Our Ravelry community has collaboratively developed a WildCare Crochet Baby Bird Nest pattern. Click for the PDF. You can join the group and connect with other baby bird nest angels in our Ravelry group here. (requires free log-in)

Do you still need pouches?
Actually we need fewer pouches than expected. We found last year that we have far less need for the additional warmth provided by the pouches that we anticipated. If you have a pouch project underway, please finish it and send it to us— we still do need some, just not as many. But we will definitely put any pouches we receive into use in hospital. 

Additional questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page

Knitting-specific questions? Visit our Ravelry group (free login required) or email

Please do not copy or distribute these directions without permission from WildCare — To obtain permission to distribute the patterns, please contact


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