Gardens are naturally attractive to birds. The healthy green vegetation and the colorful flowers are incentives that usually draw birds into your garden.
It doesn’t matter where your garden is, there is a bird that wants in.
But how do you keep birds out of the garden?
We’ve put together 10 ideas for ways to safely keep birds out of your garden.
Why Are Birds Entering My Garden?
Your homegrown vegetables will always attract local birds. Different types of gardens attract different kinds of birds.
Pigeons are usually attracted to cabbages, and crows love peas and corn.
Sparrows and bullfinches target your fruit trees, while starlings make a beeline for cherries.
Blackbirds are interested in red berries, pears, strawberries, cherries, and apples. Several other birds aren’t picky at all. They just show up when there is the food they can pick at.
Things to Keep in Mind When Bird-Proofing Your Garden
1. Don’t Hurt the Birds
People use various methods to keep birds out of their gardens. Some of these methods can be harmful to them. Admittedly, these creatures can be annoying and challenging to manage. But there are ways to handle this problem without hurting the birds. For all the headaches they can cause, they are beautiful creatures that should be treated with respect.
2. Be Ready to Commit
Keeping birds out of your garden might be a lengthy process. This is so especially when they have been invading your garden for an extended period. To get the results you want, you might need to be patient and keep at it.
3. Be Creative
Birds aren’t stupid. They quickly recognize scarecrows or crude means of keeping them out. Pinwheels, decoys, ribbons and other methods aren’t as effective as we might expect. Birds sometimes figure the trick out and keep invading your garden nonetheless. You need creative means to keep them out.
4. Switch it up
No single method will solve all your bird problems. You can combine the different ideas you have till you find the most suitable mix of solutions for your garden. Traditional methods, though not guaranteed, still work. You just need to know what to use and when to use them. The best approach is to move between different methods every few weeks.
When you consider the above guidelines, methods of keeping birds out of your garden might appear limited. Do not fret. There are several ways to keep your homegrown vegetables and flowers safe from pesky creatures. We will explore a few of these methods.
5. Set Reasonable Expectations
Birds aren’t like dogs. You can’t just put up a fence to keep them out.
No matter what method you employ, you may not be able to entirely eliminate birds from your garden or backyard.
Our goal is to simply reduce the number of birds, thereby reducing the damage to our plants and vegetables.
10 Ways to Keep Birds Out of Your Garden
Here are are 10 favorite ways to keep our garden as bird free as possible!
1. Terror Eye Balloons
Let’s start with something that looks fun. You can purchase an eye terror balloon online. This is a giant balloon that is usually painted a bright yellow. It has enormous eyes printed on it. You could also make these balloons yourself. Find huge colorful balloons and draw faces on them.
There are different ways of installing balloons in your garden.
One way is to attach them to a stretch of string. When the wind blows, the balloons dangle and move. You can also connect them to wooden posts. The wide colorful eyes will startle the birds and keep them away. The balloons scare the birds into thinking a predator is looking at them.
The movement of the balloons in the wind makes them appear realistic. They might even be scary to kids and unsuspecting neighbors, if you are not scared by them yourself. You can purchase some online or from a local gardening shop. You can also purchase raw materials to make them yourself.
2. Gardening Spinners
This is another creative way of keeping birds out of your garden. Sudden movement has proven to scare off birds. Garden spinners are perfect for this. They are usually cute with attractive designs. Their unexpected movements are what keep the birds at bay.
When purchasing spinners, buy sturdy ones that you can stick firmly into the soil. Also, remember to move them around the garden every one or two weeks. This will keep the birds from getting used to them. You can also switch the different spinners you put in the garden at the same time.
3. CDs and Mirrors
Another thing that birds do not find appealing asides from sudden movements is flashing lights. Reflections are a total put off for birds. This is why mirror pieces and CDs are a perfect way of keeping birds out. The reflection of sunlight on these CDs or mirrors is very useful for scaring the birds away.
Light bounces off of CDs and appears as flashing lights. If you have old CDs at home, these are a perfect way of keeping the birds out. Tie up the old CDs with a bit of string. When they move in the wind, the reflection beams around the garden. This scares birds away.
Small mirrors are also perfect for creating reflection. String up small mirrors beside your trees or flower bushes. These mirrors will perform the same function as strung up CDs. You can also string up an assortment of both. However, ensure you switch the positions from time to time.
4. Use Plastic Predators
From the reports of some gardeners, a decoy owl can be an excellent investment. There are several types of plastic predators that you can install in your garden to keep the birds away.
People have reported that using these predators has successfully helped to keep some birds out of their gardens. This method has the most effect on smaller birds.
Owls are predators to several birds. Naturally, they scare off a lot of birds. The best way to use this method is to purchase a decoy owl that looks real. You might also want to move the decoy around a lot. If you do not do this, the smarter birds will realize they are only a ruse.
Cat replicas are another set of plastic predators you can use in your garden. They look like real cats. If you set them up in strategic spots, the birds could think they are real and fly away. You can also use a real cat if yours is trained. An untrained cat might do more harm than good.
Toy plastic snakes are neat predator decoys that you can lay in your rose bushes or on garden beds. These plastic predators will scare away birds and other small rodents. Again, make sure you move them around to keep them from being discovered as unreal.
5. Garden Netting
There are several ways of keeping birds away, but netting appears to be quite effective. Garden netting involves using special netting to cover your vegetables to prevent birds from attacking the garden. If you used the net to cover the vegetables directly, you could end up destroying it. Branches or twigs can snap. The net can also catch on twigs or thorn, resulting in a tear.
To prevent tears on your garden netting, use props to hold up the netting. Build a frame for it. You can use several props like bamboos, fence posts or stakes. You can also use hoops. Spread the net evenly over the frame. Carefully keep the plants from getting caught in between the netting and the frame. Hold down the net edges with large stones or by pulling it taut.
It is better to use mesh netting than bird netting. Bird netting has enough spaces for little birds to get caught in it. It can be hazardous to birds or wildlife. A more expensive way is to invest in UV Resistant netting. The advantage is that this sort of netting would last for years.
6. Build a Scarecrow
As expected, scarecrows are still widely used to prevent birds from ruining a garden. While they can be effective, birds have begun to figure out that they are unreal. This means that you have to be creative when building your own scarecrow. Use several methods and items to make them look real.
Decorating the scarecrows with bright colors seems to have some effect on how the birds react to them. The colors might be useful in chasing birds away. Although this hasn’t been proven, it could still be a neat trick to try out. Use red and yellow colors when decorating your scarecrow.
There are also new and improved tech solutions. Several developers have made scarecrows that are technically controlled. Some of them move by themselves and even make whirring sounds. This sort of scarecrow will definitely scare off the bravest birds. Do not forget to move the scarecrows around a lot to keep the smarter birds away.
7. Chicken Wires
There are ways to protect your garden when your plants are still young. Chicken wires are a perfect fit for this. Birds pick at seedlings or budding vegetables. Chicken wires can prevent this.
The chicken wires can be pinned or weighed down. As the plants grow, the wire should be raised on stakes to prevent it from strangling the seedlings.
This is an ingenious method to keep seeds from being pulled out. Sometimes, gardeners focus more on the plants that have already grown. When birds pick out seedlings, they disrupt the eventual outcome of your garden.
8. Wind Chimes
Wind Chimes are instruments made from different objects using wood or metal. They usually are for decoration or ornaments. Wind chimes are built in a way that they can produce music when hit or moved by the wind.
Using metal wind chimes in your garden can scare off unwanted birds. Not only would the reflection discourage pesky birds, so would the noise it makes. Put the wind chimes outside in the garden where your vegetables are. It will be more effective there than on the porch or even further away.
Wind chimes are, however, not the best way to keep birds at bay. This can be used as a supportive method. It is not a primary means of keeping the animals away. Combine this method with other ones to get the best results.
9. Get a Pet
Most farmers have domestic pets. With time, it is apparent that they can help to keep pesky creatures away. As a gardener, you can get a dog or a cat. Household pets are protective of their space, which includes the garden too!
A dog is a better option for keeping birds out of your garden. You will get better results if you supervise or train your dog to do this. It’s no news that dogs love a good chase. You can keep your pet entertained and your garden safe from pecking through this method.
As already mentioned, a trained cat can do a fabulous job as well. Cats have a lot of fun chasing off birds or rodents and can do this in your garden. You must, however, be careful with your cat in the garden. You may be risking your garden more by letting your cat play in it.
10. Use Bird-Repellent Products
If you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, you can buy bird-repellent products for your garden plants. There are products like Birdshield that gives a bitter taste when sprayed on plants.
You can also get technology that has sound effects to scare off any bird. Some devices come with owls sounds to scare away the birds. Ultrasonic repellents such as Bird B Gone also make noises that send away birds. These sound waves cannot be heard by humans.
A Bird Free Garden
Ultimately, keeping birds out of your garden involves a lot of effort. You must be willing to put in the hard work to protect your precious vegetables. Whatever you do, remember that birds soon figure out a stationary approach. If you are using the same methods and patterns, you might not see much success in keeping your garden bird-free.
There are other ways of keeping your garden free from pesky birds. Some gardeners plant a different set of vegetables to distract the birds from their actual garden patch. Others build bird feeders. Some add shiny substances to fishing lines that they run around their gardens.
Of course, you can also also install a small greenhouse for the ultimate protection from birds.
There are no limits to how creative you can get with methods to stop birds.
Work within your means.
Use different tactics for different seasons. As your plants mature, add new ways to accommodate their growth. Employ the methods we’ve discussed, and your garden will be safe from birds.
If you have other methods that we missed, comment below! We’d love to hear about them.