Monday, July 5, 2010

Protecting your Garden from the Birds

I wrote an article last month about using netting as a way to protect your prized fruit trees and vegetable garden from the birds. And I got an education about WHY THAT MAY NOT BE THE BEST SOLUTION!

Deborah, one of my readers, volunteers at Liberty Wildlife in Scottsdale, AZ and took the time to share a few facts about the trouble netting causes the birds:

“In our public outings with the Education birds, we attempt to increase the public's awareness about the impact of various materials on wildlife. Topics range from fishing line left on the ground, balloons, plastic, and netting.

Right now, at Liberty Wildlife a Cooper's hawk will probably have to be euthanized because his legs were entangled in netting. Blood flow was cut off for too long of a time before he was found, and he can not properly use his talons. He is a beautiful, fully-flighted bird who cannot use his feet, and therefore, unable to survive in the wild. He was not going for the fruit; Cooper's hawks are meat eaters. “

Thanks Deborah – I never stopped to think about this – I always cut up the plastic rings from a six-pack of beverages as I remember learning they end up in the ocean and sea life gets trapped in them, but I had not considered the impact of bird netting and the birds!

I did a little more research and found this:  "..but in many cases products like nylon bird netting degrade rapidly and quickly become ineffective due to poor installation. Degraded nylon bird netting also has the potential to entrap wild birds,..." (PiCAS)

Here are a few other things you could use:
  • Hang old CDs or DVDs in the tree with a sturdy twine. Do not use fishing wire for the same reason that it could get wrapped around a birds led or body.
  • Use very sheer curtains you get from a thrift shop, yard sale, or your own linen closet!
  • Same for using any sheer material with really small holes so the bird can’t get tangled in them
  • Pick the fruit and let it ripen off the tree somewhere safe from the birds.

Always plant more than you need, in case the birds get to it before you!! Share the surplus is a Permaculture ethic and one that goes to animals and as well as humans. You won’t be so discouraged if you have plenty of food in the garden for everyone.

By keeping a garden that supports and doesn’t harm the eco-systems you will find that in the long run, you will need less additives to your garden like fertilizers and other chemicals. Birds also eat bugs that may be damaging to your garden, so don’t scare all of them away!!

Happy Digging,

The Garden Goddess



Garden Goddess said...

Hi Doreen,
Thanks for the great reminder. I usually use tulle from the fabric store. I sure do enjoy your newsletters. Thanks for sending them. I hope to see you soon in one of your classes.
Barbara Holmes

bird control said...

birds are the beautiful creatures in the world. there are 3 types of birds humming birds, singing as well as pest birds. the pest birds cause dropping and may harm to children. for pest bird control we use humane bird control method to scare away of birds.

王名仁 said...


鄭湘定 said...


玉苓玉苓 said...


Garden Goddess said...

Yes birds are beautiful creatures and we should do all we can to protect them. That is whay I am thankful that Deborah warned ne about the dangers of bird netting!!


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