Katie Deline-Ray is the woman behind a global crocheting and knitting project that aims to help rescued animals. She was inspired to start this initiative back in 2013, after breaking her right hand. Since she was stuck at home and spent most of her time online, Deline-Ray ended up coming across a live cam featuring a hummingbird nest. In the comments, one woman mentioned that she designed nests for local wildlife organizations. “I thought it was a brilliant idea and wondered if there was anything of that sort of setup for wildlife rescues here in Canada,” Deline-Ray told The Dodo. “Surprisingly, there wasn’t.” That’s when Wildlife Rescue Nests was born.
Since there were no online patterns for crocheted nests, Deline-Ray created her own and got to work. After a year of providing Ontario rescues with the nests, she created a Facebook page to see if others would want to help. Since then, over 800 registered volunteers across the globe have signed up, donating handmade nests to more than 240 wildlife rehabilitators who are listed on Wildlife Rescue Nests’ mailing list.
“The nests offer security and warmth, which is essential in rehabilitating wildlife,” Deline-Ray explains. “The nests are surprisingly versatile, especially since we have added the new cave nest designed for cavity/burrow dwelling animals. Initially, the nests were used for birds and small mammals such as squirrels, bunnies, raccoons and skunks. Since the rescues starting using them, we have seen them used for bats, hedgehogs, bush babies, wallabies, possums and so many others.” These knitted nests help wild animals remain calm when they’re recovering from health issues. This also increases their chances of being released back into the outdoor world.
Sometime this year, Deline-Ray hopes to create her 2,000th nest. If you’d like to join her in this admirable effort to help animals everywhere, you can view the volunteer info on the Wildlife Rescue Nests’ website. You can also donate to the cause on their GoFundMe page.