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Carolina Waterfowl Rescue Center Received Thousands Of Knitted Nests For Their Baby Songbirds

When the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue posted on Facebook that they needed some handknitted nest for their rescued injured and abandoned baby birds, the post went viral and thousands got to knitting! The center's gotten thousands of the little nests, from as far away as Canada and Japan. "We look for nests every year," Bayleigh MacHaffie, a wildlife rehab specialist for CRW, told WCNC, "We look for nests every year, ones that people can crochet put together so that we can put our songbirds into them when we do get them in."


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    Thousands of handmade nests and notes

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    Carolina Waterfowl Rescue wants to stress the fact that they'll never reach a point where they won't ever need knitted or crocheted nests. "In the past, we've gotten in around 3,000 (baby birds) in the summer. It's a lot of songbirds," MacHaffie said.


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    The homemade nests are for the baby songbirds, but the handwritten cards that usually come with are for the staff.

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    Why are these handmade nests so important? First, they are lined with tissue paper to ensure their feet don't get caught in the yarn.

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    First, they are lined with tissue paper to ensure their feet don't get caught in the yarn. MacHaffie said the nests are important for the baby bird's development because if they don't have a nest holding them in when they grow, their legs end up getting splayed out. 


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    Staff members check on the baby birds every 30 minutes.

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    Once inside the homemade nests, the nests and the babies are gingerly placed inside an incubator to keep them warm. But not all birds -- "Newly hatched birds, those guys will definitely go inside an incubator, but fledglings don't necessarily need an incubator," MacHaffie explains. 


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    the knitted nests actually provide critical support for fragile young bird bodies

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    "Part of the function of the nest is to contain the babies so they can grow properly," Jennifer Gordon tells CNN. "Anything that's born from an egg will have soft bones. In a bird, the way that their body is structured, the nest puts their body in the position to support the legs. The legs have to be tucked under. If a baby bird is left on the ground, its legs sort of splay outward and that can cause problems."


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    Family snuggles

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    The nests also provide warmth, and the bigger handmade ones give an opportunity more chicks to snuggle together! 


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    Warmth

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    The project provides these little rescue birds with a nice and safe environment to grow in. 


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    Snug as a bug!

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    "People have messaged me and said they were going to take up knitting just to donate something," Gordon says. "People don't do things like knit and crochet anymore, so it can take you back to your roots, so to speak. And people always tell us they want to do something to help, but don't know what to do. This is something they feel good doing."


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    How you can help

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    The Rescue is always in need of more nests if you want to help out and knit a nest you just need to follow these steps:

    Directions:
    On size 5 dpn's cast on 54 stitches using 2 or 3 strands of yarn so the nests are tightly knit and will stand up in a bowl shape on their own! (divide sts up into 18 sts/needle). Work in knit (stockingette is automatic on dpn's) stitch for approximately 3 inches. Begin decreasing for the crown as follows:
    Next row: *K 7, k 2 tog* repeat to end
    Next row: *K 6, k 2 tog* repeat to end
    Next row: *K 5, k 2 tog* repeat to end
    Nest row: *K 4, k 2 tog* repeat to end
    Next row: *K 3, k 2 tog* repeat to end
    Next row: *K 2, k 2 tog* repeat to end
    Next row: *K 1, k 2 tog* repeat to end
    Clip off yarn leaving a tail of about 6 inches.
    Using yarn needle, slide yarn needle under all stitches on needles, and draw tight to close up the end. Knot 

    Make sure the nest can stand up in a bowl shape on its own!

    If not, you can always donate

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