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How to Keep Birds From Eating Grass Seeds

By Kenneth Black ; Updated September 21, 2017

Seeding a lawn often involves a great deal of hard work and money. Therefore, you want to maximize the effectiveness of that work by making sure the results you get are the best possible. Birds, on the other hand, do not see grass seed for its potential to beautify, but rather as a prime food source. Thus, birds can ravage a newly-seeded lawn and cause many spots to become bare, or not be as fully as they would otherwise be. Fortunately a homeowner can take some simple steps to stop bird problems.

Stop feeding birds in the months prior to a planting. If birds have long considered your yard as a source of food, the first step is to break that association. At the very least, this should reduce the number of birds in your yard over time as they remember where they can and cannot find food.

Rake in seeds as much as you can, making sure that the seed does not go deeper than the first inch or two of soil. This will often provide enough discouragement to the birds that they will leave your seed alone. While it may require more work than simply spreading the grass seed on bare soil, the results may be much better.

Mulch the area the best you can with a straw mulch, but make sure it is not applied very thick. This helps light penetrate, which is a necessary element in sprouting plants, which receive most of their energy through photosynthesis. It may also help the soil retain some of its moisture, thus preventing scorching.

Use flash tape, which can often be purchased at a local hardware or garden supply store. This shiny tape is typically used to spook birds, who do not know quite how to react to it and perceive it could be a threat.

Install objects that make noise or move in your yard. Those who are technically sound may even consider a speaker that gives off the sound of a hawk at certain intervals. Wind chimes and other objects also often spook birds.

Place down physical barriers between the grass seed and the birds, such as grating, screens or plastic sheeting. This is often one of the more time-consuming and expensive steps, but may be necessary if the above steps do not take care of the problem.


Things You Will Need

  • Rake
  • Mulch
  • Flash tape
  • Noise makers
  • Plastic or screens


  • Consider planting in the spring, when many migratory birds may still not be in the area.
  • Always remove physical barriers at the sign of the first sprouts as heat or light issues could become a concern.


  • Do not plant in the fall, as the birds may be more actively searching for food and may be willing to take greater risks.

About the Author


Kenneth Black has been a freelance writer since 2008. He currently works as a staff writer for "The Times Republican" in Central Iowa. He has written extensively on a variety of topics, including business, politics, family life and travel. Black holds a bachelor's degree in business marketing from the University of Phoenix.