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  • The Birds

    Alfred [email protected]@@@ was right... they are vicious, evil creatures... and they've discovered my ripening berries.

    It's amazing how fast the level of bird damage has increased in just a few days. Sure there are more ripe berries because of the heat, but I have to admire how quickly they found them this year. Of course part of the reason I grow so many plants is so the humans will be able to glean enough of those lovely blue orbs.. after the birds have satisfied themselves.



    SoCal, zone 10.
    www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

  • #2
    Wow, that's a bunch of birds. Do you know what kind they are? Ok, I realized that is from "The Birds Movie."
    Last edited by Wisner; 03-15-2015, 10:18 PM.
    Jennings, Southwest Louisiana, Zone 9a

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    • Sarahkt
      Sarahkt commented
      Editing a comment
      Apparently they were heavily sedated with whiskey to get that shot.

  • #3
    I must not have planted enough. If I don't net my bushes, they will be stripped of every single berry.
    Johnny
    Stuff I grow: Google Doc

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    • #4
      Originally posted by Wisner View Post
      Wow, that's a bunch of birds. Do you know what kind they are? Ok, I realized that is from "The Birds Movie."
      Yes, birds from the movie. Pretty sure they are crows. The birds that go after my berries (or have been seen in the bushes) are mocking birds, white crowned sparrows, towhees, robins and or grosbeaks.. and flickers. Probably more. Some of their behavior is kinda cute.
      Last edited by Gina; 03-16-2015, 01:43 AM.
      SoCal, zone 10.
      www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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      • #5
        Originally posted by jkuo View Post
        I must not have planted enough. If I don't net my bushes, they will be stripped of every single berry.
        I've tried netting in the past, but my blueberry areas are irregular shaped so it was difficult to set up. The netting would get stuck on twigs, and on occasion a bird would get trapped inside. The worst however is there are snakes here, and they'd get caught up in it. I cut out (without injuring the snake) 2 large, scared, writhing hissing gopher snakes. Shudder! And a 3rd was safely set free by someone else. There are also rattlers, which I woujld not want to deal with. At all. So no bird netting anymore.
        SoCal, zone 10.
        www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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        • FMD
          FMD commented
          Editing a comment
          Been, there Gina. Large feisty blank snakes just love getting caught in netting. Cutting them out is indeed an ordeal, especially having to deal with their stankiness.

      • #6
        A month and a half after starting this thread, the bird damage has gotten so bad I had to put up an emergency structure and net my blues. It's done now, and yesterday I started moving all the potted berries to the rear yard and into the new enclosure. Today I will move as many as I can most are in 15 gallon containers, but unfortunately some are in larger pots that are just too bulky to easily move.

        This has been a big job, but hopefully with about 2 months left in harvest season, I'll be able to pick more for the humans. I really don't mind sharing with the birds - it's just they didn't want to share with me.

        Also now with them enclosed, they'll be able to get fully ripe and more flavorful.
        SoCal, zone 10.
        www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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        • drphil69
          drphil69 commented
          Editing a comment
          Gina, did you do anything to deter? I got fed up with netting last year as my bushes are getting large... they grow through the netting, and somehow I have to rescue dragonflies that get in but can't get out. But the netting did work! This is my first year without it and I will be trying some of that reflective tape.

      • #7
        I am with you - bird netting makes no sense unless you have a structure over the plants to attach it to. I encountered the same issues with throwing the netting directly on the plants - leaves/stems getting tangled up, snakes getting stuck, birds reaching right through the netting and grabbing berries.

        I might have founds something that works for the birds - I have a bird feeder and they seem to be trained to go right to this for a snack. They have not touched my berries at all this year. But there is still a chance that one might find my berries and then it is all over.

        What I have had problems with is this sneaky possum who is ravaging my plants and berries. He has earned himself a one-way trip to animal heaven; he will be departing soon.

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        • #8
          Yes, bird netting without a structure just is far too frustrating. I really don't much like the stuff at all, but I'm willing to go to this much trouble for sake of the berries.

          I'm about half done moving the plants - about 27 are now in the enclosure. I would have liked to have done more, but it hit 90* today, which is just too hot for much outdoor work. Most of the ones 'outside' still have all green berries, or the containers are just too large to move.
          SoCal, zone 10.
          www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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          • #9
            I think the key to keeping the birds away is to start scaring them before the berries start ripening. Once they start eating them they are very hard to keep scared away. I'm using some of this around my 2 plants. Last year I think it was mainly a cardinal eating them. I may add a couple rubber snakes.
            http://www.ebay.com/itm/331410366665...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

            Last edited by Wisner; 05-01-2015, 10:48 PM.
            Jennings, Southwest Louisiana, Zone 9a

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            • Inkfin
              Inkfin commented
              Editing a comment
              I have problem with mocking birds, nothing deters them and they are not scared!! Most of my berries are stolen by mocking birds. I have experienced they are even capable to untie knots on ropes!

            • drphil69
              drphil69 commented
              Editing a comment
              Birds untying knots? Them some smart birds!

          • #10
            Word, Inkfin! My mockingbirds are capable of untying the most complex knot and probably tying it back up better than I could ever accomplish. Mockingbirds and squirrels ... evil, evil creatures.
            Frank Tallahasee 8B
            North Florida Figs

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            • #11
              The mockingbirds are intense on my ripe figs. Last year was the most I have ever seen.
              Jennings, Southwest Louisiana, Zone 9a

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              • #12
                I hear mocking birds taste like chicken! Just saying😜

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                • #13
                  Blueboy,
                  Why didn't you tell me earlier? Mocking birds built a nest on my pomegranate tree and had three chicks last August, probably these are the ones eating my bbs this year Click image for larger version

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                  Zone 8B, Texas

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                  • #14
                    I can promise they are! I had a momma mocking bird raising her babies on my blues this spring. I saw where she was flying with my blues and found her nest. The babies could fly but still had pin feathers and milk on there lips. When I approached them they flew off so I recked the nest and haven't had a problem with momma since. Plus putting up bird netting didn't help her situation.

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                    • #15
                      Blueboy, here is your chicken Click image for larger version

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                      Zone 8B, Texas

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                      • drphil69
                        drphil69 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Me thinks that bird is on the wrong side of the netting...

                    • #16
                      Well, I was in for the my first kind of substantial blueberry harvest so far. I only have two bushes which are in an area that is irregular and hard to net. The robins have been non-stop and have no problem finding and entry point under the netting. At this point I doubt I will get a berry, well a perfectly ripe berry anyway. Funny thing(not really) is up till this year, I don't think I lost one berry to the birds.
                      We are in contract on a new house with a much bigger yard, I will definetly build a permanent structure onto the blueberry bed with net deployment system for bird/critter berry protection. One that won't get tangled in the branches and berries either. I'm actually planning on building a similar structure for the figs too, with a hardware cloth roof to mediate hail as well as a tarp deployment for frost protection and bird/critter netting if needed.
                      Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
                      Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

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                      • #17
                        one year I strung a wire above my berries and put the netting over it. I think trying to keep them away before they start eating is good advice. I have used reflective tape to keep the crows out of my apple trees and it has worked pretty well
                        Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana
                        Buffalo WV Z6

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                        • #18
                          It's been over two months since my bird deterring structure has been up. I'm extremely pleased with how well it's worked. I still have berries to pick, when previous years when the picking was thin at the end of the season, the birds would get them all.

                          The berries were also better since I could let them stay on the plant longer to get fully ripe - and the birds could not get to them.

                          As for snakes, instead of having the bird netting come all the way to the ground, the bottom 18 inches I used 1 inch aviary wire. I watched as a very large gopher snake passed through the wire without any problem at all. Next year I intend to increase the width of the bottom wire base to 3 feet instead of the current 18. Pollinators will be able to get through that easier. Bees can get through the netting easily, but hummers get through the wire better.
                          SoCal, zone 10.
                          www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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                          • #19
                            I'm almost finished revamping my blueberry enclosure. I am so pleased with it. It now has 4 foot side walls of 1" aviary wire, and bird netting on top. The bird netting is now supported by wires from pole to pole and across so it can't sag much. I used stainless steel picture framing wire, vinyl coated, so it was extremely easy to work with - and relatively inexpensive. Great stuff.

                            Bring on next season. I'm going through BB withdrawal!
                            SoCal, zone 10.
                            www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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