To the gardener, birds are both friends and foes. While they eat insect pests, many birds also consume entire fruits or vegetables, leaving damage and spoiling your harvest.
The birds most likely to raid your garden are blue jays and blackbirds such as crows, starlings, and grackles. Woodpeckers can also do damage to your trees and home.
Aside from the two tried-and-true methods of making a scarecrow and keeping a domestic dog on your property, there are several other options, both commercial and homemade, that many gardeners have reported as being successful in keeping birds away from the garden.
Fake Enemies: You can scare birds by fooling them into thinking their enemies are present. Try placing fake hawks or owls strategically around your garden to discourage both birds and small mammals. They’ll be most effective if you occasionally reposition them so that they appear to move about the garden.
Reflective Bird Repellent Scare Tape
Many of our customers use our Reflective Bird Repellent Scare Tape. The reflections and flashes of sunlight and the metallic sounds of the tape as it blow in the wind keep birds away from gardens, trees and buildings. Reflective Bird Repellent tape is easy to install. Simply tie 3' strips to poles or stakes, hang from rafters, wrap around plants - install in any area with access to light &/or wind.
Owls, Hawks, Herons
In general, birds feed most heavily in the morning and again in late afternoon. Schedule your control tactics to coincide with feeding times. Owls and Hawks tend to attack after dark and will go after small animals and chickens. Many of our customers use our Solar LED deterrent lights to repel these birds. The flashing lights mimic the eyes of a predator in the darkness and scare owl and hawks away.
Herons cause problems for owners of koi ponds. Their long legs allow the birds to stand in shallow ponds and fish contently.
You can control bird damage through habitat management, by blocking their access, or by scaring them away from your garden. For any method, it is important to identify the bird. A control effective for one species may not work for another. Also, you don’t want to mistakenly scare or repel beneficial birds.
The most effective steps to changing the garden environment to discourage pesky birds is to first eliminate standing water. Birds need a source of drinking water and a source near your garden makes it more attractive. You can also take steps to prevent birds from reaching your crops. The most effective way is to cover bushes and trees with lightweight plastic netting and to cover crop rows with floating row covers.