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  • Repelling birds

    Some here have birds eating their figs and beries. Local's photos from Portugal show a scarecrow used to try repelling birds fromfig trees.
    Here I personally have no real bird problem but can share how I repelled birds when had commercial cherry orchard on West Coast soe years ago.

    I drew silhouettes of hawks with wings spread out 3 feet on to thin aluminum flashing sheets, spray painted these black hung them by fine wire attached to the back from thin rebar poles in areas of orchard. cost was maybe couple bucks per .and worked fairly well. Wind made them move which may have added to effect ,also had birds flying into glass windows when saw own reflection so put one of these black silhouette hawks on outside of one window and zero birds struck windows after. There was a spray chemical to repel birds but I was using enough poisons already to get marketable fruit as it were,and spray cost bucks. You all would not believe how much poison commercial orchardists apply to get saleable fruit! I even used a spray plane once,cost a lot ! Am so glad I got out of that.
    Z8A NC SANDHILLS

    WISH LIST BURGAN UNK, ZAFFIRO,

  • #2
    My preferred repellent occasionally makes a sound. Actually quite effective. Known to climb trees too.
    Johnson1
    Zone 9b
    S of Tampa Bay, FL

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    • #3
      problem here is birds can come and go all day.Our cat gets bored if target cannot be acquired and killed and departs for other hunting areas,not lingering around fig orchard etc. all day.
      Z8A NC SANDHILLS

      WISH LIST BURGAN UNK, ZAFFIRO,

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      • #4
        Yatama, Sounds like this might just work.....may give it a try this season. Thanks, Randy/GA

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        • YATAMA
          YATAMA commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah.I hung the things on fine wire off top of thin rebar driven in ground and sticking up in air 8 feet. Cherry trees were taller so had the things in between rows and around perimeter where birds could clearly seet hem, for figs and blueberries not so tall easier to site the things above the bushes

      • #5
        Hang lots of old CDs with a string all over the orchid works for me
        Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Zone 12 (Desert Climate)
        Wish List: Cooler Summers

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        • #6
          Wahshk, Heard of doing that as well. Glad to know it works for you and thanks for sharing your success. Another method to add to my list to try. Randy/GA

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          • #7
            Originally posted by YATAMA View Post
            You all would not believe how much poison commercial orchardists apply to get saleable fruit! I even used a spray plane once,cost a lot ! Am so glad I got out of that.
            How do you define saleable fruits?
            The Ultimate Fig Database by Rigo

            Zone 10a

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            • YATAMA
              YATAMA commented
              Editing a comment
              Ones buyers of commercial fruit will pay you money for!And in our grocery business that means perfect totally unflawed external appearance no worms inside, sortable into uniform size. Try selling any fruits without these specs to produce brokers and you would get kicked out on your Axx! I am not defending this, simply reporting life as it exists here these days.

          • #8
            @Yatama: Thank you for sharing. I would have to try your method this summer.
            Buffalo Bayou Farms, SE gulf coast (zone: 9B). WL: Azores Dark, CdD Noir, Golden Rainbow, Hative d’Argenteuil, Iranian candy, Fig Preto, LSU Scott Black, Socoro Black, Sweet George

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            • #9
              I haven't seen a bird near the figs in many months. Or mice either. The near all white cat is without a doubt the smartest, most calculating, alert and effective cat I have known.

              I think it is either in their instinct or not.
              Raised as a young kitten without parenting, this one definitely has instinct. Actually quite friendly to those it likes and enjoys hanging around them too.

              Might be luck of the draw.



              Johnson1
              Zone 9b
              S of Tampa Bay, FL

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              • #10
                Yeah, YOU got the lucky cat all right!
                Z8A NC SANDHILLS

                WISH LIST BURGAN UNK, ZAFFIRO,

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                • #11
                  Ever since getting the cats I've found both bird and squirrel damage way down.... Of course, occasionally they bring me a gift that I need to bury in the garden before my kid sees....
                  Guildwood Village - Toronto, Canada - Zone 6

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                  • #12
                    Joe you all are convicing me to get a buddy for my wimpy current cat . Here mice , voles etc carry ticks that not only spread Lymes but a new disease that makes folks allergic to beef steaks and salumi! NO JOKE!
                    Z8A NC SANDHILLS

                    WISH LIST BURGAN UNK, ZAFFIRO,

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                    • #13
                      I was never a big “pet person” but my kid wanted one and my wife convinced me to get some cats. I have to say... they’re great predators... I really admire them now. They’re clean and low maintenance. I think they do work better in numbers.

                      I also assume some cats are better than others. Ours really chase the critters... even if they don’t catch them, they keep many of them out of the yard.

                      Unlike this cat

                      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2tg_heEh2e8

                      Guildwood Village - Toronto, Canada - Zone 6

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                      • YATAMA
                        YATAMA commented
                        Editing a comment
                        well Joe here we really would not want bunch of cats running around inside the house, but a few living outside in some sorta 'cathouse"! living off the land with some commercial food too may be a great idea here.I see the local government catches and gasses cats a lot.maybe I could go pick out some strong young ones that look a bit mean and give them a life!Need to be sterilized as babies are not needed here at all.

                      • TorontoJoe
                        TorontoJoe commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Rescue cats are great. I know farmers outside of Toronto that have many dozens in the barns. They don’t need to be in the house but it’s a good idea to give them a good habitat and supplement their diet.

                    • #14
                      Sure Joe I got perfect structure for some cats to occupy outside away fro the house. amd local farm store does sell cat pellets in huge bags plus I have some feeders made for calves that could probably hold a entire sack of the cat food and feed them for weeks. Plus they can forage for mice, voles, muskrats etc. I may visit the county animal control place next week. For while seemed my poison had wiped out the rodents but lately have been seeing them more.Not sure what effect cats would have on the crows herethat peck fruit.so far find shotgun helps that
                      Z8A NC SANDHILLS

                      WISH LIST BURGAN UNK, ZAFFIRO,

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                      • #15
                        @Yatama: Thank you for sharing. Will try your advice.
                        Andrew. Pietermaritzburg KZN, South Africa - Zone 10a/10b
                        Growing Figs, Grapes, Citrus, Olive, Avocado, Pecan Nut, Macadamia Nut, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Granadilla, Guava, Mango, Apricot, Coffee and loads more - not always successfully!

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                        • #16
                          The newest nefarious chemical used by orchard growers for bird control is found on your breakfast table. Cane sugar. Seems like birds, at least certain types, can't digest sucrose.

                          Hang around growers long enough, you'll hear everything, and occasionally, you'll hear something new. Give a critter a food source, and give them time to come accustomed to whatever it is you do, and they'll find a way around it. Complete exclusion and lethal means are effective, but both come with a price many aren't willing to pay...and i'm not talking about money.

                          There's an electonic bird repellent device that we've used at work for a couple of years that seems to be effective...as long as people don't turn it off.

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                          • YATAMA
                            YATAMA commented
                            Editing a comment
                            well Please provide identity and supplier of whatever that electronic bird repellent system is? I 'd like to contact the manufacturer.

                          • AndrewG
                            AndrewG commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I have sugar cane growing right next to my figs - weaver birds love it, ripping shreds for their nests. Never had a bird eat it. I assume that the cane sugar needs to be in processed form

                        • #17
                          Harvey uses an electronic bird repellent that you hear in all his videos. It broadcasts the sounds of birds of prey. If you have nearby neighbors, though, they'd likely object.
                          “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
                          – Chinese Proverb
                          MA 5b/6a

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                          • #18
                            Gina, my neighbors would likely get their shotguns out thinking they had a opportunity to hunt hawks(illegal, but then you do n't know my neighbors)!
                            Z8A NC SANDHILLS

                            WISH LIST BURGAN UNK, ZAFFIRO,

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                            • #19
                              Rubber snakes in the tree branches work well for both deterring birds and scaring the hell out of your wife. I also had bird getting into my shop and crapping all over everything. I put a life-sized plastic owl with a bobble head in the rafters and that stopped them for the most part.

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                              • figneer
                                figneer commented
                                Editing a comment
                                I probably going to try it and change the snake location and shape once a week or so , will find out if it's going to work until harvest is done. I think the birds in my area are very smart for some reason and is very hard to fool them for long time LOL

                            • #20
                              The visual and or sound effects are only effective for short time until the birds get use to it LOL, I’ve seen pigeons standing on the head of fake “ owl” that neighbors installed on the roof to prevent the pigeons to land, to me that was hilarious. I should’ve taken a picture. I am currently researching bird nets, anyone recommend a specific decent and not overly expensive one,
                              Chandler, AZ Zone 9b

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                              • YATAMA
                                YATAMA commented
                                Editing a comment
                                amazon has plastic netting 8x100 ft rolls less than 12 bucks with 1 inch mesh lasts years on my blueberries I just happened to have on hand also many hundreds of unused US ARMY mosquito nets perfect size for covering large blueberry bushes as well

                            • #21
                              Company was bird b gone.

                              There is also a sonic deer repellent device that is based on a similar philosophy, that sounds of distress will keep similar creatures out of an area. It sounds intriguing, and is far cheaper than fencing. And if I ever try my orchard idea, will probably give it a go. Will it be 100% effective, 100% of the time? Not likely. But I expect it will be 98% effective, and that's more effective than total exclusion fencing where the gate is open for most of daylight hours. Or where the netting gets ripped. There's always something.

                              I learned a long time ago, that being pessimistic is easy. There's always a way to keep a critter in or out. Completely fence, top, bottom, sides. Except some people don't want it, or go with cheap material that rips easy. Cats work great, but some people want to keep the cat inside, or not have enough, or something. There's always something.

                              I heard of a rancher who trained predators to stay away from his calves by wrapping bacon over an electric fence wire. Unique approach? Horrible thing to do to bacon?

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                              • YATAMA
                                YATAMA commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Gracias para su informacion,Amigo!

                                as to bacon trick.cant resist saying it MADE SHOCKING THINGS COME OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF PREDATORS!

                            • #22
                              Freaking smart birds I absolutely love birds through and spend hours watching them during their nesting season but not when they mess with my fruits even though I always leave something for them but they refuse to leave anything for me
                              Chandler, AZ Zone 9b

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                              • #23
                                Lasers are the next frontier in bird repelling. There was a relatively recent article in Good Fruit Grower on the topic (I'm too lazy to look it up). I know a grape grower in my area who bought a $10k laser system--he swears it works but there isn't much data to back this up, yet. Supposedly, birds don't see just the endpoint of the laser like us, but rather see the whole travel line (like we see it in fog). On level land, this system claims up to 10 acres of coverage.

                                I used a smaller system that was essentially a laser pointer mounted on an antenna rotater (with some software that varied the angle and rotation path). I'm hoping next year we get it setup in time to collect some data.

                                May not be very practical for small growers with close neighbors but it's intriguing enough to warrant close data-driven inspection/verification.
                                Don. Finger Lakes, z6a.
                                Grapevines by day, figs by night/weekends.

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                                • #24
                                  Wondering if there could be a possible conflict with the FAA on airspace.

                                  If it were a small area the laser could be mounted pointing down.
                                  Johnson1
                                  Zone 9b
                                  S of Tampa Bay, FL

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                                  • DCinFLX
                                    DCinFLX commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    From what I've seen the lasers are mounted 12-16 feet in the air so they point across the vineyard at varying downward angles. Supposedly the beam scatters when it hits something partially reflective like a leaf. You run these during the day, btw.

                                • #25
                                  wonder how would affect deer at night?
                                  we used some lazers in the lab.not real high power and inside equipment testing various materials and we were all required to wear eye protection any time it was operating I wonder about possibility of eye damage from any other sorts of even low power lazers.
                                  So even in daylight a lazerbeam sweeping over the terrain repels birds? would be on a specific spot a fraction of a second?
                                  what color lazer worked on birds?
                                  despite questions is an interesting concept.
                                  Z8A NC SANDHILLS

                                  WISH LIST BURGAN UNK, ZAFFIRO,

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