There are few things more frustrating to a gardener than to wait all year for those beautiful peaches or cherries to ripen only to have all hopes of their juices dribbling down their chin dashed to bits by some pesky bird.
Luckily, there are many tactics at your disposal to help ward off those birds and protect your precious tree fruit. Keep in mind that you might have to change up your methods from time to time as the birds get used to each one.
Punch a hole in aluminum pie pans and attach with string to the tree branches. When the wind blows, the sound of the pans banging against the branches should frighten the birds away. The aluminum is also very reflective and when the sun hits the pan, the sudden flash of light will scare the birds. Strips of aluminum foil or anything that is shiny or reflective can also be used.
Set up a radio near the trees and play fast, heavy rock-type music playing to scare birds.
Distract the birds to another area of your yard by putting out bird food and water.
Cover your trees with netting to keep the birds from getting to the fruit. While some fruit on the outside of the tree may be sacrificed, this should keep fruit further inside safe from prying beaks. Make sure the net extends all the way to the bottom of the tree and is tied up underneath, or the birds will simply fly up under it.
Set up an electronic "scarer" device. This equipment emits startling sounds that keep birds away but are not very noticeable to human ears. Some devices are highly programmable with a variety of recordings that will keep birds from getting too desensitized to one particular sound.
Place a fake owl in the tree. In addition to the standard, immobile owl statues, electric versions that rotate and emit screeching sounds are also available.
About this Author
Sarah Bradburn is an interior designer and writer living in Phoenix. She holds an associate degree in interior design and owns an interior design business. Bradburn has worked in high-end residential design, as well as model-home merchandising.