Birds digging up garden

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9 years 5 months ago #38689 by Name123
I suspect blackbirds are getting into my garden and scratching up my smaller tomato seedlings. They scratch aside the mulch, and dig into the dirt. The nasty looking blighters have taken out 3 tomato and 6 gherkin seedlings.

I got tired of it with the bed around a fig and just pushed a whole lot of pea sticks into it, and decided to grow peas up to them. And this seems to be a relatively effective approach. With enough pea sticks, I can surround my seedlings so the blackbirds can't do their chicken-style scratch out. But there are still bird scratched up areas around the sticks.

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Does anyone have any tips for dealing with them? I'd rather not cover my beds completely in netting. Putting a "stick prison" around seedlings is probably the easiest approach I can come up with.

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9 years 5 months ago #497799 by kai
Replied by kai on topic Birds digging up garden
Interesting solution, I have been looking for ways of stopping the pukekos doing the same thing. Although pukekos do pull out bamboo canes, so not sure how long it would last.

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9 years 5 months ago #497805 by Name123
Replied by Name123 on topic Birds digging up garden

kai;503294 wrote: Interesting solution, I have been looking for ways of stopping the pukekos doing the same thing. Although pukekos do pull out bamboo canes, so not sure how long it would last.

I use the same solution to prevent the chickens from scratching out my gooseberry and currant cuttings. No pukekos here thankfully.

I remember someone mentioning some success with a stuffed magpie. Wonder if I can put a saved search on trademe for one.

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9 years 5 months ago #497810 by muri
Replied by muri on topic Birds digging up garden
Remember the old days when we used to string bottle tops out on lines. These days a lot of people use CDs on string and when its sunny that seems to frighten the birds

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9 years 5 months ago #497811 by Blueberry
Replied by Blueberry on topic Birds digging up garden

muri;503305 wrote: Remember the old days when we used to string bottle tops out on lines. These days a lot of people use CDs on string and when its sunny that seems to frighten the birds


shopping bags tied to the bamboo sticks....

[;)] Blueberry
treading lightly on mother earth

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9 years 5 months ago #497820 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Birds digging up garden

Blueberry;503306 wrote: shopping bags tied to the bamboo sticks....

Afraid the sparrows up here just laugh at the plastic bags, and then I think they fill them with the peas and fly away with them. I've seen quite a few plastic bags neatly embroidered into nest sites recently

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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9 years 5 months ago #497835 by sarniagirl
Replied by sarniagirl on topic Birds digging up garden
scary ball :D

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9 years 3 months ago #500806 by Name123
Replied by Name123 on topic Birds digging up garden

muri;503305 wrote: Remember the old days when we used to string bottle tops out on lines. These days a lot of people use CDs on string and when its sunny that seems to frighten the birds

I'd like to put an anecdotal report against anyone using the CD method.

I hung them up around my chicken coop on strings, and they sit there shining and spinning. After months of sparrows and similar sized birds helping themselves to the chicken food, suddenly magpies and blackbirds and starlings or whatever they are were getting in there. It made no difference to the number of sparrows, and did the opposite of discouraging larger birds.

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9 years 3 months ago #500816 by kai
Replied by kai on topic Birds digging up garden
my solution was to put in a lot of twigs. Pukekos seem attracted to tall thin things in particular to pull out but branched and bent twigs in a sort of tunnel seemed to do the trick and they did not go for the sweetcorn inside.

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9 years 3 months ago #500817 by meganp
Replied by meganp on topic Birds digging up garden
Can you still buy those children's whirly gigs on a stick? Or a crafty person could make their own:)

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9 years 3 months ago #500828 by Name123
Replied by Name123 on topic Birds digging up garden

kai;506646 wrote: my solution was to put in a lot of twigs. Pukekos seem attracted to tall thin things in particular to pull out but branched and bent twigs in a sort of tunnel seemed to do the trick and they did not go for the sweetcorn inside.

No pukeko here thankfully! But I think twigs and sticks are the best way to go unless you want to go full netting, or stuffed magpie :)

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9 years 3 months ago #500833 by Kiwi303
Replied by Kiwi303 on topic Birds digging up garden
One old lady near hamilton back when we lived there had an old stuffed toy owl on a post.

Never had problems with birds that I know of and it wasn't even a very realistic owl.

Just owlish enough to scream "predator" at any prey bird looking at it I guess.

You Live and Learn, or you don't Live Long -anon

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9 years 3 months ago #500845 by dmschnarr
Replied by dmschnarr on topic Birds digging up garden
My problem are two of my cats love lying and rolling in the warm veggie garden soil and heaven forbid if I decide to do some weeding. My two rows of carrots are now half rows with carrots seedlings popping up everywhere. The beetroot are nearly decimated and the gherkins, well now I'm down to 6 plants instead of 12. My solution was stringing along the rows bright blue baling twine. I put a stick at both ends of the row (whats left of them) and extended the twin along the row to the next stick. Now instead of running through the rows they have to leap over the row and twine. So far things are looking good! Next year I may build a fence or may even run the solar electric fence around the patch until the seedlings are big enough to survive. :)

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9 years 3 months ago #500858 by loopi
Replied by loopi on topic Birds digging up garden
I don't have mulch around the growing veges, I have weeds! - i'm not a very good vege gardener. This 'method' has kept the blackbirds off but not the dogs who hunt skinks around the edges of the vege patch and squash all the beans. They also dug up and ate ALL my new potatoes and now find the bare earth furrows left most comfortable! Next year - a dog fence ... I will I will ...

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9 years 3 months ago #500861 by Anakei
Replied by Anakei on topic Birds digging up garden
Get some chicken wire and make a cloche shape to peg over the seedlings until they have established.

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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