Hi there Mary and Jeni,I have been putting out nesting materials for the Orioles that visit my garden.
I use two types of string and some fur donated by Alice and Abbie who love to be brushed.
I twist open the ply's of the string and cut them into less than 6 inch lengths. I read that somewhere. More than 6 inches is a problem for the birds somehow.
Then I add some milkweed silk that I save every fall.
Then I wait for a mother Oriole to arrive.She picks up a little, then forages and picks up more, then forages and picks up more!
Then when her beak is just as full as can be she flies off into the woods. It takes her about 15 minutes before she comes back and starts all over again.
As you can see, if they have a choice they choose the milkweed silk. However they will take the string if nothing else is offered. I can always tell when they want the nesting material because they keep trying to pick up the string Jim puts out to mark our garden rows.
Quite a mustache there Mrs. Oriole!