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Wild bird for eating crop pest bugs?

 
Jordan Struck
Posts: 65
Location: Oregon (zone 7b), 31.3 inches/yr rainfall
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What is the best wild bird for snatching up bug pests that infiltrate pear and apple orchards? I would think some sort of swallow?

Anyone built nest boxes/birdhouses to attract them? How'd that go?

PS I live in the Pacific Northwest, in the Columbia River Gorge (so would need to be a species found around here).
 
Travis Krause
Posts: 26
Location: D'Hanis, Texas
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Have you thought about attracting bats? Bats eat copious amounts of insects and their houses are relatively easy to build.

Here in southwestern Texas we have 4 Purple Martin houses. They migrate here in the Spring and leave in the late Fall. Not familiar with colony type birds in your part of the country.

,Travis Krause
parkercreekranch.com
 
David Livingston
master steward
Posts: 2990
Location: Anjou ,France
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Both Swallows and Bats catch flying insects. I would suggest you have a mixture of nest boxes and try to attact birds that will eat green fly etc on the tree as well .
Here in europe I will be trying to attract Blue tits and great tits for that job.

David
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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We get lots of bluebirds and they are also good at catching insects. They are easily attracted to birdhouses that are near open fields.
 
Galadriel Freden
Posts: 353
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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I think wild birds like an area which has lots of cover at different levels for them to dash into. An orchard with trees evenly spaced all the same height doesn't provide a lot of cover for birds, and they may feel too exposed to risk spending much time there. A nearby thorny hedge, or some stands of thick brush and undergrowth may be helpful in attracting birds, particularly if it includes some berry bushes or other edibles for them.

It may be that having stands of thick non-tree plantings (even just some thick stands of weeds) may distract the insects from your fruit too, and quite possibly attract beneficial predatory insects and smaller insect-eating vertebrates such as toads or snakes.

Ed for spelling
 
Richard Hauser
Posts: 28
Location: NJ
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The "Permaculture Orchard" DVD mentioned tree swallows. He puts bird houses all over the orchard to encourage birds to nest.
 
Amy Woodhouse
Posts: 48
Location: NC, Zone 7
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Do you have a water feature like small pond? Ponds are a great way to attract birds, bats, dragonflies, and predatory wasps. Many insect eating birds also eat seeds and berries. Planting millet, rye, elderberry, etc can help bring them in closer to find the real dessert.
 
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