If you cultivate blueberries in your yard, you’ve probably had to fight the birds for a portion of the harvest.
You might have even given up the fight. It’s time to reclaim your blueberry bushes by safeguarding them from birds.
Birds can become a big annual problem once they figure out where the fruit is easily accessible, resulting in significant yield reductions.
If you believe that large fields of blueberries will attract more birds than a little garden, I’m sorry to break it to you, but small, isolated plantings can produce superior yields.
The question is, how can blueberry plants be protected from birds? In this article, we are going to learn how to keep blueberries safe from birds.
What Kinds of Birds Should You Keep an Eye Out For First?
The fruit will be devoured by larger birds. Smaller birds tend to peck at the fruit, causing spoiled berries. Both will knock ripe and unripe fruit from the bush in their joyous frenzy.
- In between worm courses, American robins (Turdus migratorius), those delightful spring singers, would visit individually or in small groups to dine on blueberries.
- The occasional blueberry pests are house finches and red-winged blackbirds.
- Finches and other seed-eating birds may not particularly target blueberries, but they are drawn to places where weeds and grasses are permitted to go to seed.
- Starlings and robins are the most prevalent blueberry eaters. The European starling, sometimes known as the common starling, is a fascinating animal as well as an agricultural nuisance. Starlings swarm together and consume the fruit whole, puncturing berries with their claws.
How To Protect Your Favourite Blueberries
1. Physical Barriers
Small and medium-sized u-pick and other berry-growing farm enterprises frequently use netting as one of the most foolproof solutions.
It’ll act as a physical barrier between the ripening berries and the birds.
Use a three-quarter-inch mesh that is small enough to keep all sorts out. To avoid snakes becoming trapped in the mesh, keep the netting eight to twelve inches from the ground. Stakes or poles can be used to support the netting over the plants.
2. Netting For Birds
Bird netting can be used to protect blueberry bushes from birds. It’s critical to completely cover the bushes so that birds can’t get through any gaps between the ground and the netting.
Keep an eye out for droppings or the potential of critters becoming entangled in the netting if birds continue to gather around the blueberry bushes. Many birds are also nationally protected, so be sure your netting is properly installed.
3. Visual And Auditory Strategies
Shiny tape, terror eye balloons, and special hawk-shaped kites are some of the visual protection alternatives accessible to you.
There are other auditory strategies available, including loud noises, distress calls, and predator calls.
The goal is to scare away the birds long enough for them to stay away from your blueberries.
Wrap plant stems in tape with a glossy coating to allow them to flutter in the breeze.
Place a few owl sculptures about the house and rotate them every day or every other day.
Bird kites are hawk-shaped kites designed specifically for fruit protection.
4. Scare Tactics
There are a variety of scare strategies that can be employed to keep birds away from blueberries.
Remember that birds are highly intelligent and will quickly figure out that these aren’t real, especially given the length of the blueberry season. To assist avoid this from happening, move things around.
The following are examples of common scare tactics:
Give the impression that your farm is being cared for, and the birds will stay away. Remember to relocate your scarecrow regularly.
- Statues of predators.
To scare birds away, put out a fake hawk, owl, or snake.
5. Bird Repellents
Consider spraying your plants with a repellant to trick them into thinking the fruit isn’t that tasty after all even though it still is.
The FDA has cleared the use of methyl anthranilate, a chemical that gives Concord grapes their distinctive perfume and flavour, for repelling avian visitation.
This chemical is entirely safe for humans and animals alike, however it bothers the birds.
The crucial element that makes grape Kool-Aid smell and taste like grapes is methyl anthranilate, so home gardeners may easily manufacture their version.
Sucrose is a mildly effective repellent as well. Sucrose cannot be digested by many fruit-eating birds, including starlings, robins, and thrushes.
It will cause them to have diarrhoea, and if they eat enough fruit covered in it, they may develop a dislike for your lovely blueberries.
In a big pot on the fire, combine five pounds of granulated sugar with two quarts of water, and heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
About a gallon of spray solution should result from this. As the berries ripen, reapply after rain. Humans, insect visitors, and the birds themselves are all safe from both repellent solutions.
The issue with these options is that they require high concentrations to be effective, and they will need to devour a lot of either of these (as well as a lot of your berries) before they are put off.
6. Natural Predators
Real natural predators, like falcons, are one alternative that will drive avian blueberry pests to seek shelter and stay away. The very fact that they are present is enough to keep others at bay.
By constructing and erecting unique nesting boxes in your yard, you can attract raptors such as the American kestrel to your neighbourhood.
Inquire with your neighbours about adding some to their properties as well if they would love it.
We all love birds and how they bring a garden to life. Many flying birds would appreciate the delicious treat if you have extra berries. You don’t have to give them all of them, though.
Try one, two, or all three of these strategies to see which one works best in your berry patch and enjoy the benefits.
Do you have a problem with animals consuming your fruit? Have you figured out a safe way to keep your delectable homegrown treats safe? Let us know about it in the comments section below!