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Birds - Good or Bad?

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Birds - Good or Bad?

Post  samanthaferg on 5/31/2010, 7:44 pm

Hello!

This is my first time growing ANYTHING -- and I have been enjoying learning so much on this forum! I have a question I'm not finding an answer to through the search function, so maybe someone can help .... Are birds a GOOD thing for the garden, or no? I want to build a chicken wire/wood enclosure, to keep out the neighborhood pets/rabbits, etc -- and I thought about putting chicken wire over the top to keep out the abundant black bird population ... but then I read about the 'good' birds who eat the bad insects ... so, what to do??

Thanks for any help!

-Samantha

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Re: Birds - Good or Bad?

Post  samanthaferg on 5/31/2010, 11:29 pm

Doesn't anyone have any opinions on birds? PLEASE?! :-D

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Re: Birds - Good or Bad?

Post  Chopper on 5/31/2010, 11:34 pm

The answer really depends on the birds. I do not have much of a problem except for strawberries so I cover those. I am not sure about tomatoes but I am at the ready. They have lots else to choose from in the yard so hopefully will stay away from the veggies.

Bird netting is cheap. Watch and see if they are a problem or not and if so, know what your plan is.

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Re: Birds - Good or Bad?

Post  samanthaferg on 5/31/2010, 11:50 pm

Thank you, Chopper!

We have gigantic black birds (the size of small dogs) and they are very plentiful .... I just don't know what they like to eat, so, maybe gardens are safe? My main question is whether my garden will suffer if I am proactive at keeping all animals and birds OUT (will I have extra bugs/worms so that getting rid of birds will only create MORE problems) .... I have read that hummingbirds are good to have, but then, I think they would fit through chicken wire? Are hummingbirds enough, though?

Hmmm .. also now wondering whether I would need a permit of some sort to put up a netting type structure with wood supports! :-)

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Re: Birds - Good or Bad?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 6/1/2010, 8:33 am

@samanthaferg wrote:Thank you, Chopper!

My main question is whether my garden will suffer if I am proactive at keeping all animals and birds OUT (will I have extra bugs/worms so that getting rid of birds will only create MORE problems) .... I have read that hummingbirds are good to have, but then, I think they would fit through chicken wire? Are hummingbirds enough, though?


Your garden will probably do fine either way. It is possible that some large birds might accidentally pull out seedlings if they are gathering worms, but I can't think of any other damage birds would do. OTOH, screening them out won't hurt either. BTW, you want worms -- they help fertilize the plants.

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Re: Birds - Good or Bad?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 6/1/2010, 10:33 am

I have had problems birds on my tomatoes when they ripen. A couple of pecks can ruin a great tomato. I throw a black netting(i think they call it deer fence) over mine unless I am picking/pruning them.
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Birds - Good or Bad?

Post  GloriaG on 6/1/2010, 10:56 am

Hi samanthaferg,

In the past, I have had birds peck my cherry tomatoes - but so far this year seems to be OK. No bird issues yet.

To answer your question about; is it OK to keep birds and all animals out - yes, birds aren't necessary in a SFG. Don't forget that while birds eat the "bad" insects in your garden - they don't discriminate and also eat the "good" insects. It is really better to use other methods to control insect pests. Depending on the pest you can remove them by hand, or use organic sprays. Some can be used right up to the day of harvest.

Good luck,
Gloria

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bird damage

Post  ander217 on 6/4/2010, 10:10 pm

The only damage I've noticed in my garden from birds is from blackbirds who will pull up young corn shoots and eat the remaining seed from the bottom. Occasionally blackbirds will also eat some of the corn in the shuck, but only on the ends.

The orchard is another matter - they strip our cherry trees, raspberries, strawberries, etc. if given a chance.

How do I control them? I don't. I feed them royally all winter long at my bird feeders and then share my summer harvest with them. We usually manage to beat them to a little fruit. I tried putting up a bird net this year to save more cherries, and a small wren caught its head in the net and died. I was broken-hearted.

In spite of their pesky ways I still love birds, and many evenings DH and I sit in our garden and listen to them serenade us.
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