Above: In the video above I show how I just added another 50 feet of 3/8 of an inch braided nylon rope from Canadian Tire (it is on spools, just ask Jerry at the Yonge & Davenport store to measure you out a length)...This is the final step in closing all gaps & fixing any stray rope that may cause tripping...This makes my total rope length for this eight prototype design for a trumpeter Swan nest to be 750 feet...Apparently no matter how thick the rope I use, I end up using 750 feet for a 43 inch diameter nest...

below(this is the step before the last, the night before the video one): Glow in the dark green rope 3/8 of an inch, 100 feet...Added it this evening...Total rope length count is now 700 feet...(before, 500 red white braid poly. 100 feet white twisted nylon)...had to fill in the gaps...(turns out rope was on tremendous sale at Canadian Tire tonight...wow! May get some more...) Now I am going to have to get a Trumpeter swan to model the nest...Will post when that happens...

two things which are neat together: (maybe 4 or 5 hundred dollars total though)...
http://www.amazon.com/Powerblanket-Portable-Heating-Thawing-Blanket/dp/B002MDOP9A/ref=pd_sim_sbs_misc_4 This link is to a 'plug into your car lighter or 12V portable rechargeable battery', heating pad which can get wet & is 4 feet by 4 feet in dimension...I imagine the Trumpeter swans might like one of these under their nest for winter, or as a nest maybe...Under might be better...

http://www.amazon.com/Orion-Dynamo-Rechargeable-Power-Station/dp/B001IFS300/ref=sr_1_1?s=miscellaneous&ie=UTF8&qid=1327872684&sr=1-1 here is a cool portable rechargeable battery which also does other stuff-to plug your heating pad into...
 
 
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Even bengal cats like the nest! (Animals have been requesting these nests from me ever since I began making them...Horses, squirrels, owls, eagles, dogs, cats, this is an all purpose kind of nest-just change the rope material to suit your purposes...Poly rope floats as a by the way, Sisal is biodegradable, twisted nylon is so gorgeous at 3/8 inch you can make a nest for your wife!) Tie strings can be left long at edges to tie down nests if necessary...
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here is Trumpeter nest number 8 design prototype after a little bit of work...Notice I changed the rope to twisted nylon, & I changed the diameter of the rope to 3/8 of an inch...
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-Trumpeter-Swan-Nest/ I made an Instructable of this post, for clarity & so other people could make these too...

How to make the Trumpeter swan nest
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I used 3/8" twisted Nylon Rope(for the outside ring), which comes in 50 foot bags at Canadian Tire...It is fabulous rope, & you don't need gloves to protect your hands while weaving- no mess either...(um, oh, since you were wondering, I am actually going to finish the Trumpeter Swan Nest with the red & white diamond braid poly rope seen on the spool below the video box...)


(Big Important Link:  (update: ooh, I downloaded "Real Player" & figured out how to get that movie here...It happens you need to download your own movies sometime cause you lost them...sigh...anyways- if you try Real Player, remember sometimes you have to PLAY the movie before it shows up to be downloaded...Just a heads up cause I didn't know...see it below...)
http://groveontario.webs.com/apps/videos/videos/show/13161165-how-to-weave-the-monkey-chain-knot-to-make-the-trumpet-swan-nest-or-any-other-bird-nest- Ok, this big important link takes you to our other website which has the video on How to Connect the Monkey Chain Knot as you go along weaving...(the video shows Sisal rope 1/4 inch being used, but it is the same technique for any rope)...Basically you are just looping into loops you have already made...(it is EASY)...)

About the red & white rope I used in the middle of the nest: http://www.contractorsrope.com/braided-polypropylene-rope.html (Note: it says not good outside, but that refers to places that get lots of sun & heat...It is fine for wet, dark, cold Toronto outdoors, near to a pond...)

http://www.onlineropestore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=48&products_id=706 Ok, here is the ONLINE ROPE STORE in Trenton, Ontario, who has the most pretty twisted nylon rope in a nice 600 foot spool at a very reasonable price...



http://www.uline.ca/BL_3913/Nylon-Rope Uline is located in Brampton, Ontario, & has nice rope at great prices & will deliver...The prices are low enough to mitigate the delivery charge...I like their Nylon braided rope...Note: When I upgraded from 1/4 inch Sisal rope to 3/8 inch Poly rope, I cut 150 feet from the length I needed to make a nest...(750 ft became 600 ft. total for a 43 inch diameter nest)...So, logically, if one upgraded again to the 1/2 inch braided nylon rope Uline has, then you could again drop your length to 450 feet total rope needed...(from the 600 feet for the 3/8" rope)...So thicker rope may cost more but you use less, it is faster to weave, & it is easier on your hands...(less friction)...
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materials if you want to make on yourself...(Different sizes will appeal to different waterbirds or earth birds...) 4 feet to 43 inches is a Trumpeter size, a little less gets you a Mute Swan, then a Canadian goose, then a duck & so on...You can put a nest in the crotch of a tree- strap it in with some extra rope, & it makes a nest tree nest...Put a nest in an imaginative place, send us a picture, we will post it...Put some wild bird seed in the nest to make it a sure seller...
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3/8 inch red braided rope, this is a 500 foot spool from Canadian Tire, & I got 20 feet free just for asking! ("Jerry" at the Yonge Davenport store is very helpful)... Reasons I am using this rope: Well, one of the most important reasons is the red and white: Red is a colour that Trumpeter swans can see & are attracted to...In fact, the reason our wild bird seed is called "Red Ribbon" is because if you tie a red ribbon to where you are putting out your wild bird seed, the wild birds will be attracted to it...Same with using the red in the nest rope...They will be attracted to the nest...Also- (manufacturer specs on the rope follow)...* Easier to handle than twisted poly or natural fibers Great for water use: floats, resists rot and mildew Low stretch and ideal for a variety of uses Excellent knot retention Safe working load: 220 lbs.Polypropylene is the lightest all-purpose rope material and, as such, floats. In addition, it is very resistant to rot, mildew, and corrosion from chemicals. For these reasons, you'll be well served using it in the pool as a marker, for boating or other water sports, or for camping, both applications which will benefit from its excellent knot retention.
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This is a nest made of 1/4 inch Sisal rope...(43 inch diameter)...Sisal is cheaper, biodegradable & requires jersey gloves to protect your hands while weaving, plus the straw makes a mess of your home a little...(harder to weave than a smoother rope too-needs more muscles)...
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Red Ribbon wild bird seed is the best we have found on the market- tastes really really good! (yes, Sari has eaten it herself- Dad was a doctor & taught his family that you should eat a little of whatever your animals are eating first- if not, how will you know what it tastes like, or if it is safe?(tastes really good boiled with sweetener & milk! high protein)...The seeds are bigger for a swan...It is very fresh because it sells fast...Price right now is $11.99 cad for 15 kilograms- a bargain...We have gone through over $2,500.00 of this stuff at least...Trumpeter swans like it! (& two of them had four cygnets this year after a winter of being fed Red Ribbon, so it worked!)...The higher nutritional content of this food means you can feed them well one day then it keeps them going much longer than cheaper foods...Which helps them better since they often move around alot & you can't get to them so often...)
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Finished maybe? So with the easier to knot rope & the larger 3/8 inch diameter of the rope, I used only 600 feet of rope (instead of 750 feet with the 1/4 inch Sisal rope)...I may still fill in some gaps tomorrow...We'll see...
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What you are looking at is a USB rechargeable hand warmer pocket size in pink, which comes with a plug, a USB cord, & a lanyard for your neck...You charge it either in an electrical socket or at your computer, then you can hang it around your neck & it keeps you warm on a cold day...
But here's my thought: Insert it into your Trumpeter swan nest to make it a heated Trumpeter Swan nest...Just stick it into one of the gaps in the rope...
If you really want to get fancy, throw a stretchy conductive fabric over the nest, over the hand warmer...Now the whole nest will get warm...(or if you don't want to buy conductive fabric, get some thin copper wire & attach it to fabric that you have...Put the copper side face down on top of the hand warmer on your nest, with the soft fabric side on top...This is probably too complicated & possibly not safe, but the germ of an idea is there for me or others to work with...The idea being, heated Trumpeter Swan nests for the winter months...)

http://www.lessemf.com/fabric_guide.html This site has a whole bunch of conductive fabrics available if you want to try the heated nest idea... Say you were running a swan rescue, or any other waterbird or earthbird rescue, you could have a heated nest set-up in your enclosed space...This would speed up healing times...(Remove the conductive fabric when not heating the nest, since metals get cold alone...)


http://www.ehow.com/how_4557579_make-rice-bag-hand-warmer.html Thinking deeply about making little rice bags (uncooked rice) that fit into gaps in the rope of the Trumpeter swan nest...Then, microwaving those bags, & inserting into the nest when needed...(this is more for a rescue type nest in winter, where the swan is very cold & needs warmth...) or like round flat bags of rice, just small enough to fit in a microwave, but as big as one can...Only stay warm for half an hour though...But rescues could keep bags of rice on hand as preparation...

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Click the picture to see an excellent selection of Conductive Fabrics...prices shown on the site are normal for the market...So my thought is to put a layer of this conductive fabric over your nest, with the hand warmer underneath...This will make the whole nest warm...Hopefully...What do you think? Any better ideas?
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added a food tray & water cup...will fill in those gaps this week- they really are obvious now as I look...more rope to buy as I am out!
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I liked the wild bird seed tray idea, but didn't like my earlier try, aesthetically...So I used a metal frozen dinner tray in a circle shape, put holes in either side of it, & ran some of my long piece of cord through it, attaching it on the other side...This makes a nicer looking wild bird seed tray that won't move around...
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So I decided that the metal tray look wasn't pretty enough...So I had a piece of Belgian linen lying about, which I loosely tied to the top of the nest...This makes the nest a better Trumpeter swan feeder...The wild bird seed will sit on top better, & I can wash the linen if I need to...(just unattach it)...Just a thought...Also, I could put my rechargeable pocket handwarmer under the linen & it will warm up the nest better...(If I turned the linen into a giant round bag, I could fill that with uncooked rice & microwave that before attaching it, then going to feed the Trumpeter family in winter...
 
 
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So, I was thinking the tubes could be copper pipe, maybe 1/2 inch diameter, M quality which are like $7.29 a 6 ft. piece at Canadian Tire...Wire could be copper wire, a large roll...(50 ft.)
  Fooling around still with Trumpeter swan House designs...Can be modified for other waterbirds...
  4 tubes attached by wire for floor level...3 tubes attached by wire for roof level...
  Two walls for wind protection...(could be fibreglass sheeting mesh, or chicken wire, either. covered in slurry admix adulterated cement mix...)
  Fill base with straw...

PIZAP.com is who I used to cut out the photo & edit, then iPhoto on Mac Snow leopard...
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Same design as above, but all shapes are round instead of square, basically...So round base, half-circle roof, & arc support...
or maybe, a round base, with a semi-arc top. with a semi-semi-arc to support it...? 
I like roundness for a waterbird shelter nest...Need some more practice materials to test for balance issues...Hairbands & cardboard aren't exactly the stuff of museum work...Well, maybe? 
Went from copper pipe, to galvanized steel rods, to reusing bird seed bags as support materials...From the sublime to the ridiculous...Funny, but most people tend to prefer the ridiculous...(Although the ridiculous is often the cheapest, so maybe that is it...)

Here's a tidbit: http://lifehacker.com/283088/share-your-macs-internet-connection-wirelessly My brother gave me an iPod for my birthday...But I didn't have a wireless router for my Mac, so I couldn't use the Ipod to surf the net at home...(Like in the bathtub where it is sooo important!)...So, I found this link today, after several days of looking...It tells you how you just go to your System preferences, & do a few more things, & boom, wow, you got your Mac to share with your Ipod- even set up a password so that others can't bootleg in your building...So now I totally have wifi on my ipod at home without spending a dime...Yay! (I thought I was going to have to buy Airport Express which costs $99 dollars...)

 
 
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How to get to Bluffers park...The red mark is actually a parking lot...Walk south from there to the water...The teeny little bay...trumpeters should be near the sloop...or swimming around the bay...they will come if they see you have food...Flap your wings to alert them you have food...Waggle your butt to say hello...Lifting one foot up indicates goodbye...
So you want to feed Trumpeter Swans this winter...November to April is the time...The Trumpeter Swan society has volunteers who do it & so can you...There are several locations where they winter along Lake Ontario if they don't migrate...(C17 was found in Bald Eagle Creek in Pennsylvania last winter 2010-2011...he is back up at Bluffers Park now...last visited August 2011 & fine...)
Here is one closer to Toronto location...If you go along Danforth, follow it as it is now renamed KIngston road, then turn right on Brimley & go slowly in your car down the steep hill, you will come to two parking lots...The first is only free after Sept. 30...Actually both are only free after Sept. 30, but the first you are more likely to be ticketed...It costs $3.00 until then...The Trumpeter Swans often hang out at the sloop of the first parking lot...So park in the farther away lot & walk to the first...If it is after Sept. 30, park in the first...Drive slowly in case the Trumpeters are actually sitting in the lot...They do that too...Wild bird seed is good because it doesn't cause the food fights that throwing bread does...Bread is fine- organic, grainy is better, try to hand feed it on by one instead of throwing it & causing fights...Fights are actually more aggressive than you might imagine...Hand feeding is nice & they like it & you will like it too...You can put a pile of wild bird seed down too & the waterbirds won't fight...There are other cool waterbirds who hang out at Bluffers too...Rare Bufflehead ducks- all white with a black patch- like a penguin a bit- they are shy diving ducks...Good luck getting them some food...The geese are very friendly & I have patted some...Most often the bigger waterbirds won't eat unless the smaller ones get food first...So that is how that goes...The park is absolutely beautiful so plan to take a stroll...There is a gorgeous beach on the far far other end, to the east...

Guaranteed tons of Trumpeter Swans at Lasalle park marina in Burlington all winter long!!! Like, alot! But it is a farther drive...bring lots of food...(wild bird seed is good)...