The wife and I have built 4 raised beds using the lasagne method and are starting to get good results. The beds seem to be very attractive to birds however and they mess up much of the plants by uprooting them and just scratching everything to bits. Any ideas how to control what has turned into a real pest would be great.
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
posted 8 years ago
My local (introduced) birds are mainly blackbirds and thrushes.
My heavily mulched, catless and wildish place is proving a drawcard!
Here's a few ideas: they love moving around grass clippings and other lightweight mulch, but they can't handle the bigger stuff. I try to top off whatever i've used with an assortment of stalks, ideally wedged a bit from edge to edge.
If you're dealing with an Australian brush turkey, I send my condolences
Where I'm direct-sowing things like carrots, I lay old coffee sacks on the soil and when the plants germinate, I set up a row-cover. The plants quickly outgrow the birds.
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
posted 8 years ago
From my point of view, I classify birds into 2 groups:
1) Those that are looking for the insects. These are very beneficial, as they help create balance to the system. However, they can be destructive to freshly sown areas. If you transplant seedlings vs direct sowing, you help mitigate the problem.
2) Those that are after the seeds. These are the guys that can destroy a newly planted bed. Once again, transplanting vs direct seeding can give you the advantage. Another great help is to provide ample bird feeders to keep their bellies full. Who wants to dig for one seed when there is a plate full of seeds readily available?
Do watch out for squirrels though if you set out bird feeders. They can be greedy little bastards.
You can make some bird deterrents out of pie pans. My mom used them all the time and I have also. You can see one at this site, http://www.scarecrow-bird-control.com/visual-bird-deterrents/. There is a link to a youtube video if you click on "Pie Pan Scarecrow". All you have to do is get a aluminum pie pan, make a small hole in it using a nail. Then attach it to a string and attach the string to a stake or tree. The pan rotates in the wind and reflects like all around. If attached to a stake, it will bang against the stake too for added bird scare factor!! >
Friend of mine was at a blueberry farm, or cherry orchard or some such, and asked how they kept the birds from decimating the fruit. They told her that the bird sounds she was hearing were recordings of the sounds of small birds being killed by predators. She said the sounds weren't loud, and she couldn't identify them as screams. No problem with birds.
Over time it might stop being effective, but I think they limited it to harvest season. If you are dealing with corvids (crows, ravens) it won't work as long. In a couple months they'll be shooting a large gun all day at random intervals to scare the crows off the neighboring vineyard. Can't use a pattern because the crows figure it out. Rats with wings.
Intermountain (Cascades and Coast range) oak savannah, 550 - 600 ft elevation. USDA zone 7a. Arid summers, soggy winters