How to get rid of blackbirds in trees
Controlling Nuisance Blackbirds in Roosts
Robert A. Pierce II
Extension Fisheries and Wildlife Specialist
USDA APHIS–Wildlife Services
Many homeowners enjoy landscaping for wildlife and having birds in their yard. However, most people lose their enthusiasm when large flocks of birds roost in their trees or shrubs. Although not everyone finds the noise of large numbers of birds annoying, most people soon become disgusted with the droppings that accumulate beneath a roost or the odor that develops if the birds remain for a long time. In Missouri, blackbirds — including red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) and common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula) — can establish winter and summer roosts that can create a nuisance or health hazard (Figure 1).
Bird roosts that develop year after year in the same location can be a source of human disease. Bird droppings allowed to accumulate for several years produce a condition favorable for the growth of the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. Inhaling spores from this fungus can produce a serious disease, histoplasmosis, in humans and in animals. People who have been exposed to these spores sometimes develop mild cases of histoplasmosis, but massive exposure can have serious consequences. So, birds should not be allowed to roost repeatedly near our homes.
Top to bottom: the common grackle, red-winged blackbird, European starling and brown-headed cowbird establish large roosts that can be a nuisance or health hazard.
Laws and regulations
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (16 USC 703–712) makes the hunting, capturing, killing or selling of migratory birds unlawful. However, the Missouri Wildlife Code Rule 3CSRl0-4.130 allows landowners to protect their property from damage caused by wildlife. A permit is not required to control the following species of birds when they threaten or damage trees, crops, livestock or wildlife, or when their numbers pose a health hazard or other nuisance: yellow-headed, red-winged, rusty and Brewer’s blackbirds; cowbirds; grackles; crows; and magpies.
Before beginning a bird control program, contact the Missouri Department of Conservation and USDA APHIS–Wildlife Services for more information on rules and regulations concerning the prevention and control of nuisance blackbird roosts.
Bird roosts in Missouri
After nesting and raising young, red-winged blackbirds and starlings form small flocks and begin roosting together. Although these smaller roosts may be formed by late June, most are established in July and August and are generally temporary.
Many small flocks prefer to roost in deciduous trees but will move after the leaves begin to fall. The birds in these roosts may move occasionally, often migrating farther south, until October or November when they join with other flocks to form large winter roosts of up to several million birds (Figure 2). The birds in some of these smaller roosts, however, may remain through the winter unless the landowner makes an effort to disperse them.
Identifying the particular species in a roost is helpful for developing an effective bird control program. Common grackles and brown-headed cowbirds may join the red-winged blackbirds and starlings in the smaller roosts. These species of birds, often collectively known as “blackbirds,” also form larger winter roosts.
Millions of birds may gather to form winter roosts.
Managing bird roosts in urban areas
Blackbirds will begin to flock together during the late summer and may occupy suitable trees in a particular neighborhood, forming summer roosts. Many of these urban roosts contain a relatively small number of blackbirds which may choose to roost in a particular tree or area for a short period of time. Although the birds often move from these roosts when the leaves begin to fall, a homeowner may wish to move the roosts before economic damage or health problems occur. In these situations, prevention and control programs are often designed to move the birds to a place where damage, annoyance and threats to human health are minimal. Sparrows can present special problems, but sparrows roosting in trees or shrubs respond to control programs in much the same manner as other birds.
Birds seem to prefer trees and shrubs with dense branches. Cedars, pine plantations, hedges and deciduous shade trees that have been severely trimmed and have since developed a dense canopy are often selected as roosting sites.
How to move roosts in urban areas
The most effective way to move bird roosts is through the use of sound. Sharp, loud noises are more effective than loud, sustained sounds. Banging metal pans or garbage can lids, beating a metal tub, striking a bell or slapping two boards together are a few ways to generate a suitable sound. Sustained production of this type of sound will usually succeed in moving the birds. Use innovative methods to produce the sound — for example, bells, cans containing rocks, or metal pans hung at 10- to 20-foot intervals on a rope that is strung through a hedge create sharp noises when one end of the rope is pulled.
Firing projectiles such as shellcrackers or shellbangers (pyrotechnics) is especially effective, although the cost per shot is relatively high. However, because these projectiles explode in the air where the birds are, relatively few are needed. Firing shotgun shells is much less expensive and also effective but is generally not recommended to control bird roosts in urban areas. Many areas have ordinances prohibiting the discharge of firearms, so check local laws before using this control method.
Recordings of starling distress calls have been used successfully to move starling roosts in urban areas. Such recordings must be played at a high volume for several consecutive evenings. The sound may need to be amplified if the trees or roosts are large.
Broadcast alarm notes of red-winged blackbirds, grackles, starlings and robins have also been used successfully to move roosts of these species. House sparrows have not been as responsive to broadcast alarm sounds as have the other species. Explosive sounds, such as those produced by shotgun shells, shellcrackers and shellbangers, increase the effectiveness of the broadcast alarm and distress calls but may not be a feasible option to use around the home. USDA APHIS–Wildlife Services can provide additional information on use of distress calls for controlling blackbird roosts.
Strategies for urban bird control
Community organization is necessary when using scare devices to disperse bird roosts in urban or suburban areas. If a summer roost has formed in the same area for several years, make plans to act in the spring or early summer before the birds arrive. The goal is to cause the birds to move to rural areas where they generally will not be an annoyance or cause an economic problem.
Public relation efforts should precede an urban bird-frightening effort. Follow these steps to educate the public and implement a program to disperse birds with scare devices:
- Consult with neighbors to find out if they agree on the problem.
- Contact local authorities such as the city manager, police department or health department for assistance. These officials can help explain the reasons for attempting to relocate the birds.
- Obtain the necessary equipment: a portable tape or CD player with amplifier, recordings of distress calls, pistol launchers with the appropriate pyrotechnics.
- Organize public employees or other responsible adults to help. Usually three or more people are needed, depending on the size of the roost.
- Schedule activities for at least four consecutive evenings.
- Begin dispersal activities two to three hours before dark, or as soon as the birds begin settling into the roost; continue until dark.
When birds first arrive at a roost, they may perch in nearby trees and fly around without settling. This behavior is referred to as “staging” and may continue for 15 to 30 minutes before birds begin to roost. Often, flocks of 500 to 600 birds stage together in a tree or two and move on to their roost just before dark. This behavior occurs every day at a particular roost site, whether it is a temporary roost or a more permanent site.
Birds are much easier to frighten while they are flying. A common error in bird roost control is to wait until the birds have settled into the roost before attempting to move them. The control program should be put into operation when the first birds begin arriving at the roost in the afternoon or late evening and should continue as long as the birds attempt to enter the roost. Every effort should be made to keep the birds from settling down in the roost. Begin playing distress calls, loudly and intermittently at first, and then continuously as most of the birds are entering. Move the player to various locations within the roost every few minutes. If projectiles can be used, shooters should fire over the tops of the roost trees. Whistle bombs fired into the incoming flocks will help turn them back.
Continue as long as birds are entering the roost or until nightfall. The first few nights, the birds may settle into the roost despite continued harassment. When this occurs, discontinue all control measures until the next evening.
Persist in your efforts on successive evenings. In large roosts or where roosts are well established, the first scare attempt may appear to be unsuccessful. Scaring may have to be continued for up to a week before the birds abandon the area. In small roosts or where birds are less well established, scaring may disperse flocks after the first two or three consecutive evenings. After the birds have moved, continue to observe the roost because a few birds may attempt to return. Repeating the control program for a brief period will keep the birds from reestablishing themselves in the roost.
Where dispersed flocks go is unpredictable. They may join flocks of birds going to other roosts or set up a new one. However, birds that have been moved are usually more responsive to dispersal from other sites.
Removing vegetation can be effective in controlling roost populations. Removing all cover is not always possible or desirable, but thinning helps. Wherever possible, remove all understory shrubs and brush, and discourage the development of interlocking canopy tree branches.
Winter bird roosts
Many blackbirds migrate farther south, but sizable flocks of grackles, brown-headed cowbirds, red-winged blackbirds and starlings remain in Missouri during the winter, especially in the southern and southeastern counties. After deciduous trees lose their leaves, flocks may assemble in conifers and hedgerows to take advantage of the protective cover of the closely spaced trees. An extremely large number of birds may inhabit winter roosts, which thus require a much larger area. These roosts are formed in much the same way as summer roosts are formed; flocks of birds may stage in nearby areas or may fly directly to the roosting site in the late evening. Winter roosts may persist from late fall until the following March.
Generally, winter roosts are located in more rural areas where they do not create the problems associated with summer and fall urban roosts, even though the roosts may comprise many more birds and cover larger areas. However, when winter roosts do become a problem, they can be extremely difficult to move. Although the same methods and equipment may be used to eliminate both summer and winter roosts, winter roosts require more persistence, more work, more assistance and more equipment, including shellcrackers and shellbangers with greater range than those used in urban areas.
Thinning may open the stands of trees enough to reduce their attractiveness as roosting sites. If the problem is severe, however, and winter roosts cannot be managed by bird-dispersal techniques, you need to consider timber harvests.
Winter bird roosts on structures
Starlings remaining in urban areas during the winter may roost overnight on building ledges, windowsills and other places where their noise may be objectionable and their droppings may deface buildings. They forage on streets, in vacant lots and around trash receptacles where food waste is carelessly scattered. They also feed at urban and suburban bird feeders.
The best long-term solution to roost problems on buildings is to alter the structure to prevent the birds from landing. When the roosting surface is a ledge, try placing a metal covering or board over the ledge at a minimum 45-degree angle (Figure 3a). Be sure to block the ends so birds cannot get beneath the board.
Another method of deterring birds from a ledge is to install “porcupine wire” or “bird spikes” (Figure 3b). These devices have short, heavy wire prongs that stick out at various angles to prevent birds from landing. You can buy these bird repellents or make them with coat hangers. To make them, cut six 6-inch lengths of coat hanger, bundle them and attach them securely to a block of wood or directly to the surface to be protected. Bend the wires so they stick out like cactus spikes. Place as many spikes as necessary on each window sill or ledge. Note, however, that this repellent is not always effective; pigeons have been seen building nests on wires, and starlings have been seen roosting on them.
A good solution to roost problems on rafters is to place plastic or nylon bird netting on the underside of rafters or ledges (Figure 4a). Netting is also useful for covering windows or other building openings. High-value trees may also be covered individually with netting to prevent birds from using the trees (Figure 4b).
Deter birds from roosting on ledges by (a) increasing the angle of the ledge to at least 45 degrees
or (b) installing heavy wire prongs called porcupine wire or bird spikes.
Netting can prevent birds from roosting (a) in rafters
or (b) valuable trees.
One solution commonly used by homeowners to address roost problems is a sticky repellent — a soft, nontoxic material that discourages roosting. These polybutenes, found under a variety of trade names, can provide an effective means of discouraging birds from roosting but are messy, collect dust and dirt, and must be reapplied several times a year. To increase the repellent’s effectiveness on porous surfaces and make removal easier, place masking tape on the surface needing protection and apply the repellent directly to the masking tape. Sticky repellents may not work well for house sparrows, which need only a small space on which to cling while roosting. The best way to discourage sparrows from roosting on structures is to use netting.
Distress calls and scare devices rarely prevent birds from roosting on structures. If you decide to use scare devices such as phony owls, string-tethered balloons, aluminum pie tins, plastic wind turbines, flashing lights or loud noise as a deterrent, move the devices to a new location every day. The simultaneous use of visual scare devices and noisemakers seems to be more effective in dispersing birds. However, distress calls and scare devices are seldom successful in dispersing starling flocks from structures.
Bird control assistance
For more information on preventing and controlling nuisance bird roosts, contact your local MU Extension center. For technical assistance controlling nuisance bird roosts, contact:
- USDA APHIS–Wildlife Services
1714 Commerce Court, Suite C
Columbia, MO 65202
- Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management, http://icwdm.org/
- Missouri Department of Conservation, http://mdc.mo.gov/
- USDA APHIS–Wildlife Services, http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage
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How to Get Rid of Blackbirds and Grackles at Feeders
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Are bigger birds bothering your songbirds? Learn how to get rid of grackles, blackbirds, starlings and other undesirable birds at your feeders.
For those of us who feed birds, there’s nothing more frustrating than a flock of so-called bully birds descending on our backyard feeders. Not only do they eat the feeders clean in minutes, but their aggressive behavior also can discourage some of our favorite songbirds. That’s why how to get rid of grackles, blackbirds and starlings is one of the most common concerns among many Birds & Blooms readers.
Reader Georgia Wacker of Canton, Ohio wrote to ask for a solution to keep blackbirds and grackles from pillaging her bird feeders. In Steger, Illinois, Mrs. Joseph Kraus says an invading swarm of house sparrows is eating her out of house and home. And European starlings are ruffling Wayne Taylor’s feathers. These non-native birds are frightening away more desirable species from his Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, yard. Psst—here’s how to get rid of blue jays at your feeders.Courtesy Daniel SextonCommon grackles on a bird feeder
Bully birds include blackbirds, grackles, pigeons, European starlings and house sparrows. The last three are non-native species and are not protected by law. These hungry avian invaders are often attracted to a yard by the cheap wild birdseed mix or suet that’s made available on the ground or in easy-access feeders. If you’re one of the people frustrated by the behavior of bully birds in your backyard, don’t give up the fight. Here’s what the experts had to say about the problem — and some solutions that will help you get rid of grackles, blackbirds and starlings, so you can continue feeding the birds you love.
Squirrels eating all your seed? Check out our picks for the best squirrel-proof bird feeders and squirrel baffles.Ask the Experts: How to Get Rid of GracklesCorey Baldwin/Getty ImagesCommon grackle
“Common grackles consistently throw birdseed and empty my feeders. How can I deter them?” asks Stefanie Vanderbush of Waupun, Wisconsin.
Birding experts Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman write, “To deal with the big appetites and messy habits of grackles, the best approach is to switch to different styles of feeders. Hanging tube-style feeders with short perches will attract finches and other small birds, but grackles find them hard to use. A suet feeder that can be accessed only from the underside will work for chickadees, nuthatches and other acrobatic birds, but may discourage grackles. You can also place a wire cage around a feeder—use wire with openings too small for grackles to squeeze through but big enough to let in finches, chickadees, juncos and other small birds.Bird Feeders to Get Rid of Blackbirds and Grackles
Use Caged Bird Feeders
Because virtually all bully birds are larger than more desirable birds, you can adapt your feeders to accommodate only smaller species. Try enclosing the feeders with large-mesh hardware cloth or chicken wire with openings big enough to allow smaller birds to pass through (a 2-inch opening should do). This will exclude the large birds and help you get rid of the grackles and blackbirds. You can also purchase caged-in tube feeders or caged fruit/mealworm feeders and tray feeders. Just be sure to get one with the feeder portion located several inches inside the cage, so bullies can’t reach the seed with their long bills.
Want to attract more redbirds? Check out the best cardinal bird feeders and birdseed.
Fill Finch Feeders with Thistle Seed
Generally undesirable, non-native birds prefer bread, corn, millet, wheat and sunflower seeds. To get rid of grackles and blackbirds, supply food they won’t eat. To feed finches, fill hanging tube feeders with only nyjer seed (thistle). For cardinals, chickadees and nuthatches, provide safflower seed in hopper or tray feeders. If you do this, grackles, crows and blackbirds generally will look elsewhere for the foods they like.
Check out more of the best finch feeders to serve thistle seed.How to Get Rid of StarlingsCourtesy Margaret FosterEuropean starlings are bully birds
European starlings have a fondness for suet. Get rid of starlings by hanging the suet up and under a domed squirrel baffle. Starlings are reluctant to go underneath any kind of cover and usually will avoid the hard-to-reach meal.
Starling-Proof Suet Feeder
A special starling-proof upside-down suet feeder, in which the suet can be eaten only from underneath, is also a good choice. Acrobatic birds like nuthatches won’t have any issues getting to the food.
Check out natural ways to keep bees and wasps away from hummingbird feeders.Keep the Feeding Area Clean to Deter Grackles and Blackbirds
Seed Catcher Tray
Some backyard birders have the greatest problems with bully birds that eat the cast-off seeds below hanging and post feeders. Pigeons are notorious for gathering in flocks underneath feeders for their meals. The solution for this problem is to collect the fallen seeds in a deep container, such as a plastic garbage can or pail, that the pest birds cannot or will not get into. You can make a hole in the center of the container and place it right on your feeder pole. You can also try using a seed hoop or seed catcher tray to contain the mess.
Psst—learn how to clean your bird feeders.
How to get rid of thrushes in the country, the best means to use in the garden
- Recognizing the enemy in person
- The best means
- What to buy from thrushes
- Making a repeller with your own hands 9006 what to do if the birds attack the garden
Gardeners know that birds bring not only joy, but also grief. Field thrushes are able to destroy the crop of fruits and vegetables in just one day. You can get rid of thrushes quickly and permanently if you give the problem enough time.
Recognizing the enemy by sight
Although birds live in forest belts, they fly to orchards to summer cottages for food. If all the fruits suddenly disappeared on a berry tree, there is only one conclusion - recently thrushes-field berries visited there. You can recognize them by several features:
- Large body, larger than that of a dove.
- Color grey-brown, belly pale.
- Insolence and lack of fear of people.
Thrushes love red the most
Fluffy visitors do not leave a single ripe fruit to the summer resident, eating everything in their path.
Birds are especially fond of:
If there are these plants in the garden or vegetable garden, you need to take care of preventive measures in advance. But you can't expect them to work. For fidelity, it is better to apply several methods.
It is problematic to scare away thrushes because they are quite smart birds, easily recognizing tricks and traps. Already after a couple of days they get used to repellers, so the scenery must be changed almost daily.
The best remedies
Many summer residents believe that the easiest way to get rid of thrushes in the country is to put up a scarecrow. However, this measure will prove to be ineffective. Thrushes are not at all afraid of figures - on the contrary, they use them as a place for observation.
The following methods will be more effective:
- Creating loud sounds in the area.
- Construction of moving structures.
- Set up mockups of bird enemies.
Thrushes do not like the noise, so it can temporarily drive the birds away from the garden
You can create it yourself by building a special device. You need to take two crossbars in the shape of the letter "T", nail an impressive piece of polyethylene to the top, cutting it into thin strips. When the wind blows, they will make a sound. As a rule, it is enough to drive away thrushes.
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An alternative is to use a plastic bottle or tin. Shops sell foil turntables and bells - you can also use them. The disadvantage of this method is that it is effective only in windy weather.
An ultrasonic bird repeller is available. It does not harm human hearing at all, but it is nasty and unpleasant for birds.
Equally effective LPG propane gun. From time to time she emits pops, which are afraid of thrushes and their relatives. The volume and frequency of "shots" can be adjusted manually. The cannon can be attached to a rotating mast so that it makes sounds in different directions. This method has high efficiency and is absolutely safe for nature.
Thrushes are wary of moving objects, so you can create a simple waving garland. You will need a long rope and large goose feathers. They can be painted in different colors and attached to the thread at a distance of half a meter from each other. The ropes are attached to the trees down so that their ends touch the ground.
What to buy from thrushes
You can find nets in agricultural stores to protect bushes and trees from birds. Made from green plastic. The net is small enough that pests cannot penetrate it. You can replace it with ordinary tulle or a fishing net. It is worth considering that the analogues are larger, and birds can get through them, get stuck in a bush or on a tree.
Laser repeller leads birds astray and makes them afraid. It does not harm human eyesight. Among the disadvantages is the high cost. If you place the device close to the house, it can annoy the residents. It is better to turn it on at dawn or before sunset.
Bioacoustic repeller imitates the sounds of birds of prey. There are automatic models that turn on, depending on the proximity of the birds. The device is powered by an outlet or battery. The second option is more preferable, since there is no need to lay wires throughout the site. Among the shortcomings of the method is that people will also suffer from unpleasant sounds.
Most birds are afraid of shiny objects. If you attach old CDs to tree poles, they will gleam in the sun, scaring off thrushes. You can hang New Year's rain and kitchen foil
Although thrushes are indifferent to scarecrows, the figure of a bird of prey can keep them away from their summer cottage for a long time. A plastic scarecrow with an intimidating look is a productive weapon against intruders. It is advisable to purchase a model with large yellow eyes, like a hawk. It should combine red, yellow, white and black - that's when the scarecrow will be awesome for thrushes.
Some gardeners cover bushes with loose agrotex. It allows air to pass through, does not spoil the berries, and the birds cannot get to them.
Making a repeller with your own hands
Since thrushes are afraid of cats, fur hats can be hung on the trees. Birds will think carefully about whether to be placed next to them. Poles can be installed throughout the garden with cardboard substrates, on which plastic bags with the image of a cat will be glued. It is necessary to choose drawings in which animals are depicted with open eyes. This method will not delay thrushes in the country.
Another effective way is to glue pieces of a mirror to an ordinary children's ball, place it in a net and hang it from a tree. In sunny weather, such a repeller will work with a bang.
You can hang old video tapes on trees and bushes. It will sparkle in the sun, scaring away birds.
During experiments, gardeners found out that birds do not like loud music. You can try to turn on the player during the invasion of thrushes - for some time (up to two weeks) they will disappear. This time is enough to wait until the harvest is ripe and harvest it.
Important! While there is no harvest, it is not recommended to get rid of birds. They peck at insects, helping shrubs and trees. It is worth taking measures for extermination when the fruits are already ripe.
One of the most inhumane ways is to use a shotgun and hang up dead birds as a warning to relatives. This method is used at airports to scare birds away from the runway. It is effective, but it is better to use a softer way. For example, tie a live thrush by the paw for a day. He will emit a cry that will notify his relatives of the danger.
Peregrine Falcon can be kept on the farm. However, after the extermination of birds, he can take on chickens.
White and black threads have been scientifically proven to intimidate birds. If you hang them on trees, the birds may take them for snares and will not bother you again.
You can train your dog to get rid of thrushes. When birds approach, she will bark, scaring them away. If a pet cannot be trained, it is better to remove it from the garden - it can ruin crops.
An ingenious way is to buy a model of an RC airplane and run it every time the birds arrive at the site. For a while, the method will work.
Bird repellant on the plot - a dynamic repeller, which is on sale
What to do if birds attack the garden
It happens that thrushes besiege not only fruit bushes and trees, but also strawberries and strawberries growing on the ground. In this case, help:
- Lutrasil - material for sheltering beds. The main rule is to cover the ground tightly so that pests cannot penetrate under them.
- Threads on columns. You can dig four rods into the ground and pull threads on them. You need to make sure that the ropes sway freely in the wind. To heighten the effect, foil or colored plastic is attached to them.
- Colored stones. An unusual and original way to make thrushes lose interest in the garden is to spread red stones around the perimeter before the fruits ripen. Having tasted them, the birds will not want to taste the real harvest. Instead of stones, you can use unnecessary New Year's toys.
- To prevent birds from spoiling the crops, it is advisable to spread rugs with spikes around them on the ground. They must be laid close to the plants, carefully so as not to harm them.
In spring, thrushes sit on rock gardens and plants growing on them, and in a short time they harvest the entire crop. To prevent this from happening, you can stick pieces of thin wire into the structure. So the thrushes will not be able to sit on it.
The longer the decoys and repellers hang, the less their effect, so they need to be changed periodically. It is desirable that the neighbors also start scaring away the birds: so the likelihood that feathered guests will visit in the future will be less.
How to deal with thrushes and other birds that eat crops - With your own hands in the country
For gardeners, the task often becomes, how to get rid of thrushes in their summer cottage . At the same time, the main conditions are humanity and, of course, the safety of the ripened crop. In order for the event to be implemented successfully, you need to know your enemy by sight, as well as be aware of his habits and passions.
Thrush is not visible, but he is
Thrush is the biggest destroyer of gardens, and having chosen a place for food, he lives in the neighborhood, and not alone, but always in a flock. Thrushes make “food” raids, so they can only be found during the attack period, and a small flock is able to completely “clean” the summer cottage in just a couple of days. For this reason, measures to combat thrushes should be well in advance.
If one morning, instead of ripe berries, only bare branches were found on a tree, it is highly likely that rowan thrushes have become habitual in the garden. As a rule, they make their nests in the nearest forest belt, and they fly to the orchard exclusively for “lunch”.
Thrushes are much larger than sparrows, but smaller than pigeons, they are quite inconspicuous in color and easily camouflaged in tree branches. Their gluttony knows no bounds, and the bird is quite smart, learns quickly and is not distinguished by modesty and fearfulness. They are even cheeky. For this reason, installing a banal scarecrow will scare away the birds for a maximum of a couple of days. They quickly learn the habits of gardeners and easily act as devastating guerrillas.
How to recognize a thrush? Here are the main signs:
- these are rather large birds, slightly smaller than pigeons;
- have a gray-brown mottled color and a white belly;
- Unlike sparrows and tits, thrushes are not at all shy and even impudent.
Read at the same time How to deal with flies in the country - means and methods
Thrushes' favorite delicacy is ripe berries, and of all the flowers they are most attracted to red. They leave no chance for ripe berries and peck them very quickly, depriving gardeners of hope for a good harvest. Blackbirds like it the most:
- strawberries; strawberries;
- gooseberries and other berries.
Thrushes are attracted to any food with a reddish tint, so all fruits and berries of red color are at risk: from cherries to red currants, strawberries. The destruction of thrushes is not recommended, because. they are an important link in the biological chain, for this reason it is recommended to use only humane methods that do not harm the birds.
Ways to drive thrushes away from summer cottages
The main condition for the success of scaring away thrushes in summer cottages is a frequent change of scenery or their active deterrent effect. There are not so many effective methods, how to drive thrushes out of the summer cottage :
- Imitation of the presence of people on the site , for which they arrange stuffed animals in bright clothes, lay out things, for example, for tea drinking. The scenery should move once a day, then the birds do not begin to perceive them as part of the decorations of the garden or vegetable garden. Active actions directly affect efficiency.
- Birds are afraid of any noise effects , so you can install any homemade noise makers from cans to ratchet propellers. The main disadvantage of such devices is inefficiency in the absence of wind, so experienced gardeners and gardeners replace homemade products with more modern electronic devices. Buzzers are often combined with other scare devices, as they their effectiveness depends on the unexpectedness of the sound and its loudness, which can also cause inconvenience to people.
- An equally effective method is decorating a summer cottage with old things that may seem dangerous to birds . So old fur hats, fixed on the lower branches of trees, remind thrushes of cats, which are a natural dangerous enemy. The decorations of birds of prey and animals that can be collected from old things and improvised means turn out to be very effective, and complete repetition is not so important, but on the contrary, the similarity of the silhouette with a bright, noticeable color is important. Glitter from Christmas trees, old CDs and other shiny objects in the sun signal danger to birds, and the wind necessarily moves them, so the scenery remains in motion.
- The "industrial or civilized" method is considered to be the use of fine mesh screens as protective measures . Nets are thrown over trees, and also fastened to stretch marks over areas that can be ruined by thrushes. The technique is not entirely aimed at how to scare away thrushes from their summer cottage , but it is very effective, although it requires significant investment to purchase the net. A fine-mesh net must be used, otherwise the bird will be able to get to the crop or may get tangled in the cell, which will certainly lead to death.
The maximum effect can be obtained by combining noise effects and the glitter of hanging objects.
Modern deterrent methods include ultrasonic devices and propane guns. But each device requires regular supervision, especially the propane gun, which runs on liquefied gas, creates quite powerful pops according to the program. Compliance with safety regulations is mandatory, so such dangerous devices are not always really convenient.
How to get rid of thrushes in the country - general recommendations
If there are plants listed on the site, it is advisable to prepare protective equipment by the time the berries ripen. But you should not expect that one of them will work once and for all. Experienced summer residents use several methods at once.
It can be difficult to get rid of thrushes in a summer cottage also because they require frequent “change of scenery”. These birds are smart enough, quickly get used to various repellers and often cease to beware of them after a few days. For a few days or weeks, only new objects can divert their attention from the berries. Therefore, you should not test any method in advance.
How to deal with thrushes in the country - the most effective folk remedies
Dressing up a cute scarecrow that will not only drive away birds, but also decorate the plot is the first idea that comes to mind of any summer resident. But, unfortunately, scarecrows are completely ineffective in the fight against thrushes. Not only do the birds pay no attention to them, but they also begin to use the new structure as an observation point for ripening berries.
To get rid of thrushes in the area, it is better to try other methods:
- devices that make loud noise;
- movable structures;
- Structures imitating the natural enemies of the thrush.
Rustling and jingling structures
Anything that makes loud and harsh sounds will help the thrushes win some time in the fight for the harvest. One of the options that many summer residents advise is the simplest fixture of two crossbars hammered together in the shape of the letter "T" and a large piece of polyethylene nailed to the top bar. The film is cut into long thin strips. At the slightest breath of wind, these stripes will make a loud rustle - some argue that this affects the thrushes quite strongly.
A device that emits loud sounds is easy to make yourself from a plastic bottle or cans (detailed instructions are available on the Internet). Store-bought foil turntables and even wind chimes can be used similarly. The disadvantage of such methods is that in calm weather they are mostly “silent”.
"Garland" with feathers
Any moving objects alert the birds, and even at the sight of some simple devices, thrushes can avoid the site for a long time. For the "garland" you will need a skein of strong threads (twine is best) and any feathers (the easiest way is to take long goose feathers). Feathers are painted in bright colors and attached to ropes at a distance of 50 cm. They need to be hung on tree branches so that the ends flutter freely in the wind.
A special net to protect trees and bushes from birds is available in the garden department. Usually such a net is made of green plastic. As a rule, its cells are small enough and do not allow birds to get between them.
It is the net that is considered one of the most effective (and durable) ways to control thrushes. Some use tulle and fishing nets for the same purpose. However, the fishing net is quite large, the birds easily fall under it and often die in the trees. Although, if during the next “raid” several thrushes got entangled in the net, this can scare the rest away for a long time.
CDs, tinsel and film
Drozdov is alarmed by shiny and sparkling objects. Old CDs hung from branches in sunny weather will perfectly reflect the rays and scare away birds with harsh light. In a similar way, you can use not only old discs, but also tape from audio and video cassettes and a brilliant New Year's rain.
Thrushes don't pay attention to scarecrows, but a stuffed bird of prey is another option. You can install an inexpensive plastic scarecrow in the garden. Experienced summer residents claim that it is precisely the look of a predator that frightens thrushes. Therefore, it is desirable that the figure has large eyes. You should also pay attention to color: all birds have excellent color vision, and the combination of red, yellow, white and black will scare off thrushes.
How to keep thrushes away from strawberry beds?
Much to the annoyance of people who grow remontant strawberries, thrushes “attack” not only berry trees and bushes, but also beds. Ripe strawberries and wild strawberries are their favorite treat. How to get rid of field thrushes in the beds?
Lutrasil is a non-woven fibrous material intended for various types of bed cover. This is one of the best ways to protect strawberries or strawberries from thrushes. The main condition is that the material must cover the beds completely so that the birds cannot get to the berries from below.
Threads on rods
Another way to protect the berries from thrushes is to dig a few rods around the perimeter of the bed and pull the threads over them.