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Permaculture controls for crop eating birds

 
steward
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Paul and I are working on the Animal Care badge for the PEP system.  We're detailing out some options for people to use when attempting to mitigate crop eating birds.  Here's our list, can you add some more ideas???

Scarecrow
Reflectors or wind spinners
Flags or banners
Distract birds away from other crops + animal feed by planting mulberries and the like
- 100 shrubs/trees total
- 60+ mulberries
- Staggered fruiting time to distract for as long as possible
Select plant cultivars that hide the bounty from the birds
- 6 examples
Perches for raptors
Paint small rocks to look like strawberries

 
gardener
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Location: Southern Illinois
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String or fishing line strung over the garden.  Birds can see the line and don’t want their wings caught up.

Eric
 
gardener
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Location: St Paul, MN/Tularosa, NM and now a gapper at Wheaton Labs
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Many vineyards will install purple martin houses. These are of a very specific design to keep out predators. The purple martins are very territorial.  They will chase other birds from the area. They eat bugs, not fruit or seeds.
 
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Location: NSW, Australia
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Fred Tyler wrote:Many vineyards will install purple martin houses. These are of a very specific design to keep out predators. The purple martins are very territorial.  They will chase other birds from the area. They eat bugs, not fruit or seeds.



That sounds like a great idea! Our vineyard struggles terribly with bird damage from starlings, crows, and cockatoos. I wonder if our a house for our native (Australian) tree martins and fairy martins would have a similar effect?
 
pollinator
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Kites You can buy kites in the shape of birds of prey that you set up in the field, I'm sure you could make one too.
 
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many years ago an ag expert told me to plant at least twice as much as you really wanted because keeping wildlife out of crops can be such a challenge.
 
Mike Haasl
steward
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Good ones everyone!  I'm especially liking the ones that don't require the gardener to "do something" regularly to keep the system going.  More "permanent" and/or allows us to be lazier.
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