The Bird Dilemma

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Yvonne Smith, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    We always put out food for the birds and the squirrels, and enjoy seeing them in the yard, eating the seeds we put out, and fluttering around in the bird bath.
    However, so far this year, every strawberry has disappeared before it even starts to get red. There are NO blueberries on the blueberry bush, although i didn't even see any blooms on it this year either, so maybe not the birds' fault there are no berries.
    We have a small orange tree and a lemon tree that both blossomed profusely this spring, and had tiny citrus fruits on the branches . Now, neither tree has even one tiny fruit on it.
    So far, the peaches are still out there on the peach trees, but who knows when they will be eaten as well ?

    Thus, we are now asking ourselves (and each other) whether we want to keep encouraging all of the birds to live in our yard anymore.
    Why plant and nurture all of these fruiting plants and trees, if the fruit is only going to be for the birds (and squirrels ?) to enjoy, and none at all for us ?
    Of course, we can put screens or netting over everything; but that does not seem like a good alternative either. We would always have some wildlife, regardless of whether we feed the birds or not; but no where near as many as we have right now.
    I am not sure what the answer is to this dilemma; but at the moment, it does not seem like we can continue tto feed the birds and still have any fruit for ourselves.
     
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  2. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    Those rascals do seem to send out the word through some invisible bird network of where there's a free meal. I just saw a heron hopping across the lawn here. With me the issue isn't the birds, it's the squirrels. They've become really intrusive and hoggish. The birds rarely come by anymore, which is a shame, because I'm happy to feed them and see/hear them on the balcony. I've been feeding the birds intermittently, but the squirrels are on the food like addicted slot machine players. They won't go far, in the hope that a jackpot will soon be theirs. I don't blame you for wanting some of the fruit you work so hard to cultivate. I don't think any of us begrudge the wildlife their due, but it'd be nice if they'd share.
     
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  3. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member
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    I sometimes find that birds eat the blossoms off my plants and flowers. This doesn't always happen, but it has happened. I wonder sometimes if it is deer. I had some strawberry plants in a hanging feeder off the back. It was one of those topsy turvy feeders..It had a number of blossoms, and when I went out one day they were all gone! I am not sure what ate them, but it was obviously some kind of critter. Needless to say, I didn't get many strawberries that year.
     
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  4. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    :( I'm sorry y'all probably will have to make a decision here as I don't know how you could teach the birds, etc. not to eat the things y'all are growing for yourselves. And it would be nearly impossible to protect everything unless you were growing your fruit, etc. in a green house.
     
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  5. Texas Beth

    Texas Beth Well-Known Member
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    Are you sure it is the birds? I started loosing small plants and realized the squirrels were pulling them up (roots and all) and scampering off with them at night. The plant nursery owner suggested I plant mint in various areas of my garden as squirrels do not like the smell. Sure enough, no more problems.

    Now, as for my berry plants I have learned to keep the blackberries picked every morning for the birds will eat those. If I keep it picked of ripe berries, they will leave the unripened berries alone.
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    To come to the defense of the squirrels, flying squirrels are the only squirrels that are nocturnal. The others are active during the morning and afternoon.
     
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  7. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I have started feeding the birds and squirrels out in the front yard. It keeps them away from the swiming pool, and they seem to be okay with the change of location now that they have discovered the new place for the food. At first, I scattered it along the driveway where they could be sure to see it, but now, I just put it in the yard alongside of the driveway.
    That still does not solve the solution of the missing fruit and berries; but we do enjoy feeding the birds and having them eating in the yard. I guess we will just go with that for this year, and then start fresh next summer , which will give us the winter months to come up with ideas to save the fruit next spring.
    I do have mint plants, and a huge one right in the strawberry garden; but it does not seem to be a deterrent for them. I am transplanting small mint starts around the yard since they are also supposed to help repel mosquitoes.
     
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  8. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    We visited a lady 3 years ago, halfway between here and Kingman (AZ), who had a most enviable array of gardening plots, trees (apricot, pomegranate), blackberry bushes, citrus fruits. Several of her trees were absolutely LOADED with fruit (I recall the apricot most of all; it must have had several THOUSAND fruits hanging from it). That tree was ensconced within a PVP pipe supported enclosure, which was surrounded with plastic netting. Blocked out predatory fruit eaters, as well as the intense desert sun. I built one similar to hers. If I can remember by tomorrow, I will post pics. Remind me, otherwise!. Frank
     
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  9. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    I love birds. And maybe if we have trees that would feed the birds then I would tolerate that. But on second thought, hmm, we have this small star fruit tree that is planted in a rubber pot. The fruit is so sweet so every harvest is reserved for me. And if those birds would eat the star fruit and deprive me of the harvest, we have a defense for that. We actually have cloth bags specially made for the fruits. Our sugar apple that is imported from Thailand is the sweetest with thick flesh. But when the sugar apple matures, short of being ripe, the bats would get ahead for the tasting. In the morning, we would find half of the fruit gone and the seeds on the ground. With that cloth bag covering the entire fruit, the bats are now deprived. With the birds and the star fruit, it can be the same although the birds don't eat the star fruit.
     
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  10. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member
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    I have lots of birds around here. I don't have too many problems with them normally, however, one time I planted some flowers out near the trees, and something ate all the tops of them off. I don't think birds normally do that, but it was clearly one of the woodland critters that are around here. I just am not sure who or what the culprit was. I had a birds nest on my porch. This was the second time in about 4 years.
     
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