Bird Control: How to Identify, Prevent and Get Rid of Birds

Birds may look cute, but such is not the case all the time. A lot of them can be beneficial in the garden since they can act as natural predators for a variety of pests. They feed on larvae and eggs, making them effective in the natural elimination of pesky garden pests. However, there are some instances wherein the birds are also the pests. To prevent their infestation of the garden, you should know how to get rid of birds, especially those species that will do more harm than good.

What Birds are Pests?

Some of the birds that can be a nuisance in the garden include the following:

Pigeons

Its name is from the Latin word pipio, which translates to young cheeping bird. The average size is 11 to 14 inches, wingspan is 20 to 26 inches, and weight is 9 to 13 ounces. The color can vary, but most of them are gray. Pigeons have rounded tail and black bill.

Feral Pigeon

Pigeon Has Rounded Tail and Black Bill

Crows

This bird has the reputation of being the most intelligent. They are easily noticeable because of their black eyes and black feather. To add, they also make a loud caw-caw sound, making it easy to detect their presence. Different species exhibit different sizes. Some of its most popular species include American crow and fish crow.

Black Crow

Crow Has the Reputation of Being the Most Intelligent

Blackbirds

With an average length of 25 centimeters, this is one of the most popular birds in the European region. The males have darker coverings in their body compared to their female counterparts. They have a low flight and instead, they often stand on the ground.

Common Blackbird

Blackbird Has a Low Flight

Starlings

While there are many species of this bird, one of the most popular is the European starling. This songbird comes with a stocky body and short tail. Other distinct physical characteristics include pointed bills and triangular wings.

Violet Backed Starling

Starling Comes with a Stocky Body and Short Tail

Bird’s Habitat

Birds can have a wide range of habitat, which will depend on their species. Their habitats have four elements – nesting area, shelter, water, and food. When these four are present, the environment will be suitable for the survival of birds. Some of the most common places where they can live include forests, deserts, grasslands, tundra, oceans, wetlands, and urban areas. They are present even in the garden, especially if there are plants that will serve as their food or when there are bird feeders.

Identifying Bird’s Damage

Plants Affected

Various species of birds will eat a variety of plants. Generally speaking, however, some of their favorites are cabbage, strawberry, blackberry, peas, melon, tomato, cherry, blackcurrant, gooseberry, pear, and apple among others. They eat fruits, vegetables, bushes, and fruit trees, among others. Whether in the wild or in the garden, they can be ferocious eaters, and hence, can heavily damage your plants.

Symptoms

Watch out for the following signs, which will be indications that birds are affecting your plants:

  • One of the most common signs of damage would be having parts that are partially eaten and torn. This is especially the case in corn and fruits like strawberries, melons, and cherries. There will be holes on the surface of the fruits, which can also encourage rotting. With this, some parts will appear softer, which is a sign that it is unhealthy.
  • Pay attention to bird droppings as well. Fecal matter will be apparent in the garden and different parts of the plants, especially their leaves and fruits.
  • In trees, there will be vertical and horizontal rows of holes. This can be a result of feeding of sapsuckers. It has a geometric symmetry that makes it easy to identify the one that is responsible for the damage.

Results of Infestation

The presence of birds can result in varying degrees of infestation, which will depend on a variety of factors, such as the extent of feeding and the species of birds that are present. In commercial plantations, it is uncommon for birds to be the culprit for profit loss. This is because they will make the crops unmarketable. They will not only affect aesthetics, but will also render the crops unfit for human consumption. To add, they will make plants more susceptible to pathogens and diseases.

Pigeons Damage

Those Birds Can be Ferocious Eaters and Heavily Damage Your Plants

How to Get Rid of Birds

Natural and Organic Solutions

To make sure that birds won’t affect your plants and crops, the following are some of the solutions that can prove to be promising:

  • Habitat modification should be on the top of the list. This is as simple as modifying the environment in such a way that it will not be attractive to birds. Remove bird feeders and seeds. If they attract beneficial birds, they can do the same to those that can be garden pests. Also, get rid of any supply of water.
  • There are also visual repellents that can be effective in repelling birds. Having a scarecrow is one solution that you might want to consider, especially in commercial plantations. Rotating the location of the scarecrow is a must to fool the birds. There are also plastic predators that can be effective, such as a fake snake, owl, or coyote.
  • Aside from visual scare tactics, you can also take advantage of noise. Look for devices that can make noise, which will keep the birds away from the garden. There are several commercial products that will emit an annoying sound to scare birds. One of the perfect examples of such is Birds-B-Gone. The sound will annoy only birds and not humans.
  • Netting will also help to deter the birds in the garden. It will provide a protective barrier, which will prevent the birds from getting close to the plants. Some birds have powerful beaks, which makes it important to use a net that is made from a strong material that birds will not be able to easily destroy.
  • There are also birds that are afraid of flashy materials, such as woodpeckers. With this, another thing that you can do is to use aluminum foil or hang shiny objects in trees.

Chemical Solution

Resorting to the use of chemicals is one thing that you should avoid. They contain toxic ingredients, which can be harmful even for humans. However, in case the infestation is severe, especially in large plantations, the use of chemicals can be justifiable. For the highest level of effectiveness, it is important to pay attention to the instructions from the manufacturer. Professional application may also be necessary.

Among others, methyl anthranilate is one of the most common active ingredients in chemical treatment for birds. Some of the specific brands that you might want to consider include Rejex-IT MA and Bird Shield Repellant Concentrate.

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