Birds are responsible for a wide swathe of damage in our gardens. Some of it is serious, some of it is only mildly annoying. But all in all, it’s better to protect your garden than allow birds to do what they like.
In the autumn and winter seasons, they not only eat flower buds, but also strip ornamental berries, and attack your brassicas. In spring birds can be found destroying flowers, stealing seeds, and damaging your seedlings. The summer damage they cause can include taking fruit as well as pecking holes in your turf.
Bullfinches are the worst criminals for eating flower buds, but they are not alone. Many other finches along with sparrows and tits can also be culprits. Ideally, keen gardeners are well-advised to grow their fruit in a cage that can be protected with netting in winter before any damage begins. This will also work later in keeping birds off any ripening fruit.
The fruiting shrubs that get stripped of berries firs include cotoneasters, berberis, ilex, along with pyracantha and Sorbus. Birds love them because they are an important food source before the harshness of winter descends.
Which birds strip flowers?
Tits search for sweet nectar and in so doing they will peck at camellias, along with sweet peas and your garden’s rhododendrons. Sparrows do the most annoying damage. They shred flowers of spring plants even though they don’t eat them. You can protect your most vulnerable plants with nets.
Which birds eat fruit and vegetables?
Young fruit is grazed by bullfinches. Ripe fruit is attacked by starlings, tits, pigeons, collared doves, as well as blackbirds and thrushes. Jays devour peas and beans along with sweetcorn. Leafy vegetables attract collared doves and wood pigeons.
Temporary netting covering any low-growing plants should help protect your plants. But beware because the larger birds can cause serious damage quickly!
Do birds eat grass seeds?
New lawns and other recently sown seedbeds are raided by seed-eating sparrows and other birds. Even indoor seeds supposedly protected indoors or in greenhouses cannot be considered safe.
Sparrows are the main culprits for attacking seedbed. But young seedlings are also grazed by larks, and pheasants too.
To protect any low-growing plants and your seedbeds it’s a good idea to cover them with something like horticultural fleece. This helps deter birds and enable plant growth to be boosted so they can grow up and out of the vulnerable stage more rapidly.
Can I control the birds in my garden?
Noisy deterrents are good when you live a distance from neighbors. But they are very intrusive, especially when they are triggered around dawn. There is a traditional remedy for bird attacks that involves threading cotton over vulnerable plants. However, it is not to be recommended as birds are easily entangled.
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