I wanted to make a climbing net for my Hahn's macaw who should be coming home sometime in August (I hope!) I finally worked out my favorite way to make it and I thought I'd share how I did it!
The trick is a Chinese or Cross Knot. This is a perfect knot for this, because a rope will come straight out of the knot on the opposite side. And the even better part is the knot makes a little cup shape, perfect for stashing a little treat inside! Now it is a foraging net!
The first pictures show step by step how to make the knot. It looks really complicated, but once you do it a few times, it is really straightforward. I like this knot because it is very easy to make the net even, especially if you make a little mark with a pen where you want the knot to begin.
The next pics show how you start the net with an overhand loop at the corner, followed by the first knot. I used 1/2" superior cotton rope. This rope is different than other cotton rope as birds are less likely to get entangled in strands. (Hopefully this is true - it is very soft and easy to pull apart.)
I bought 100', but I didn't use all of it. You can kind of figure it out if you draw out the size net that you want.
For this 1/2" rope that I used (which actually seems more like 5/8")
Overhand loop at the corners = 24" of rope per loop
Space in between knots = 7"
Each knot = 6" for each strand in the knot, so allow 1' total/knot
Frayed ends at edges of net = allow 3" for each end.
Skinnier rope won't use as much in each knot, and thicker rope will use more. Quite a lot of length is used up in the knots!
Oh! Another tip is to tape the ends as you cut them to keep them from fraying, and don't take the tape off until the net is completely done.
Edited to add a warning: When making things out of rope for birds it is IMPERATIVE that you get rope that is not treated with anything. Rope from the big hardware stores, while cheap, is generally treated with oil/kerosene/nastiness. If it smells like gasoline, DO NOT USE IT FOR BIRDS. Buy only natural, untreated, cotton/hemp/sisal/seagrass rope. It should smell like cotton, or grass, and that's it. And I wouldn't use regular cotton rope either, I'd only use the bird-specific cotton rope.