Blackbirds …sigh

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Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Mike Jones on Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:41 pm

I know this has been mentioned before but I really am having great difficulties in my display area. tried the CD's hanging, wind-chimes etc etc to discourage birds. I thought it was all pretty much down to the recent thrush nest in my Oak Bonsai but now that saga is over with I am still finding on a daily basis well disturbed and dug soil on my trees and accents; the latter being ripped apart.

With some help the female Black-birds have been seen on numerous occasions doing the digging and of course eating cherries and leaving the stones behind. I do like the birds but this is getting ridiculous. In almost thirty years I've not experienced this. Indeed, it could ease off when the young have been fed and move on … or not as the case may be.

Other than netting each and every pot which quite frankly is just not practical owing to size of some and the groups. So before I give up completely, I thought I would ask if anyone has that great tip that may actually work.

I've wondered about a battery powered bird scarer, or a plastic bird of prey placed in a prominent place. Not tried either yet. Not certain a scarecrow will be much cop either; and then who wants a scarecrow in a display area? Oh I have stripped all moss away (not that I had any really), and all pot surfaces are nice and clear, top dressed with either akadama or propagating bark with Azaleas. So very easy to peck away at. Bug clear both above and below ground.

Heard of spraying soil surfaces with a combination of boiled onions, garlic and chillis/peppers, sift and use water in a sprayer. Not tried yet.

Any tips thoughts, or suggestions gratefully appreciated.

Mike Jones
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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Dave Martin on Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:11 pm

Mike,
Has this started since the onset of the wet weather, because I have noticed that in my garden since that time.
I think it also has something to do with the young having fledged but still being looked after by their mothers.
It's as if they are looking for leather jackets or similar just below the soil.

Garlic 'juice' is allegedly good for aphids and slugs but I have never heard it used to prevent birds. Local neighbour's cats seem to have assisted in my case, luckily without any casualties to the bird population.

Would feeding them on a ground feeder tray away from your display area help, strange I know, but if they have a ready source without effort might that help? If not is there any mileage in putting shade netting over the top of your display area with a shade netting blind in the doorway?

Am so glad you didn't ask for nominations for scarecrow duties Smile

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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Paul B [Swindon] on Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:27 pm

I have the same problem Mike/Dave, the wife is trying a tray of sand/grit to see if they will use that instead????

I have tried to keep the akadama wet on the top, so it's not so dusty, which seems to stop them digging about as much.

If all else fails, trip wires and land mines!!!!! Very Happy

Paul

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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Mike Jones on Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:38 pm

Dave/Paul

Thank you. Made me laugh in both cases Very Happy Yes Dave, feeders a plenty, netting not possible due to design and over forty feet by twenty feet and gaps between panel tops and beams I'd maybe get it finished in time for winter; then the snow would pile up and bring it all down.

This is all very odd; it is new to me, never experienced this at all in almost thirty years as a hobbyist. Nearly said Hobbit.

Just been sat having tea watching one Magpie turn into two, three, and finally seven Magpies (don't think I have a secret never to be told) all fiddling around in the earth circles where we have trees planted across the lawns; in 56 years of life it is the most Magglepies I have seen in one go in one place.

The Blackbirds I cannot fathom out, as they are stripping the cherries from a very large tree at the bottom of the garden, bringing this take-away food into the display house, sitting on the pots, eating, leaving the stones on the soil surface, having a dig around then flying off with me in hot pursuit. Again, something I have never seen before.

Tried the trays; my logic is they have worked out if a tray on the ground contains dried worms, then whoopee, all these potted trees must have same Mad

Had to bring my lovely John Pitt accent log right up near the house; they were going bonkers for it. I've had to re-do much of it. Today, three miniature Hosta in small training accent (plastic) pots, picked up and shoved onto the floor, yes, had to re-pot each one and finally they were just getting somewhere. They were weighted down with stones in the base of each pot (drainage) so were not at all light in weight.

There must be a way .... Shirley!

Mike Jones
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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  RichLewis on Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:26 pm

Mike Jones wrote:

I've wondered about a battery powered bird scarer, or a plastic bird of prey placed in a prominent place.

A local farmer nearby uses these small kites shaped like birds of prey. They're attached to a bamboo pole about 2metres off the ground, and the wind sends them shooting up about 10m in the air. They sort of whizz around for a bit then fall back down until the next breeze, scared the heck out of me the first time walking past. If I bump into him I'll ask him where he got them, they seem to be very effective.

The battery powered bird scarer might be a good bet too, although the breeze rustling nearby bushes etc can set them off. The plastic bird might work too, although you might have to move it frequently as they will learn it's not real (at least that was the old wive's tale with the plastic heron by the fish pond).

Failing that, 20mins under a hot grill and worchester sauce should do the job ThumbsUp

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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Guest on Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:45 pm

Hi Richlewis

Blackbirds is only interested in your bonsaipots, if it has worms in the soil. Get rid of the worms, and the birds will go away.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Mike Jones on Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:13 am

Yvonne Graubaek wrote:Hi Richlewis

Blackbirds is only interested in your bonsaipots, if it has worms in the soil. Get rid of the worms, and the birds will go away.

Kind regards Yvonne

Yvonne, sorry, but that is simply not true Rolling Eyes And it was me that asked, not RichLewis; the latter offering some further positive thoughts to my original question.Yes Dave you made a fair point elsewhere.

Mike Jones
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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  fiona on Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:52 am

I have the ultimate deterrent for you. We used to get loads of blackbirds in our gardens but they'd never come out when our neighbour played his Daniel O'Donnell CDs.

There has to be a reason for Daniel O'Donnell's existence - this may very well be it.


fiona
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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Mike Jones on Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:14 am

fiona wrote:I have the ultimate deterrent for you. We used to get loads of blackbirds in our gardens but they'd never come out when our neighbour played his Daniel O'Donnell CDs.

There has to be a reason for Daniel O'Donnell's existence - this may very well be it.


affraid

Mike Jones
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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Guest on Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:35 am

Hi Mike Jones

Soory I had your name wrong. About the birds?, what can I say.

Kind regards yvonne

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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Dave Martin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:58 am

I've just noticed that the square footage of your display area is slightly smaller than the square footage of my whole garden Sad
And I bet you haven't got a rotary clothes line in it either! Laughing

Dave Martin
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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Thinktreedanielsan on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:22 am

Hi Mike

I too have suffered at the hands of birds, but they are suffering too at the moment. The ground is so hard here they can't feed on worms, so they are looking elsewhere for food.
Their primary aim is to keep their babies alive, if you and i were Blackbirds we would be doing the same.
Pray for rain, they can then get back to worm hunting rather than bonsai trashing.
Best Regards
Gavin

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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  fiona on Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:59 am

You want/need rain? Be my guest, As usual your deficit is our surfeit and I really hate to feel so greedy.

Dave Martin wrote: And I bet you haven't got a rotary clothes line in it either! Laughing
Dave, isn't it funny how you never saw rotary clothes driers on Groundforce or any of those other garden makeover programmes? Or at Chelsea Flower Show for that matter. I think I will write to Diarmuid Gavin and suggest this as his 2012 Chelsea project - a real garden featuring clothes drying areas, a Swingball stand, several children's bikes in varying stages of decrepitness, and especially for those with anorak model aircarft loving spouses, several areas whose only function seems to be as a receptacle for bits of old propeller and oily rags.

That would be Reality TV.

fiona
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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Guest on Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:02 pm

perhaps you could try leaving food out for them, but on the other side of the garden from your trees. or get a cat!


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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Dave Martin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:52 pm

fiona wrote: several areas whose only function seems to be as a receptacle for bits of old propeller and oily rags.

Is this the voice of experience speaking I ask Question cyclops

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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  fiona on Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:06 pm

Dave Martin wrote:
fiona wrote: several areas whose only function seems to be as a receptacle for bits of old propeller and oily rags.
Is this the voice of experience speaking I ask Question cyclops
Yup. My only consolation is he doesn't leave them lying around indoors any more. It's good to be able to walk around one's house safe in the knowledge that one isn't going to trip over one's husband's nacelles. flutter eyelashes

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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  fiona on Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:08 pm

And to get back on topic (sort of); as for blackbirds - we got that cleared out of the garage last summer.

All 1100cc of it.

fiona
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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Mike Jones on Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:43 pm

Gavin

We now have plenty of rain. Fingers crossed.

Jim

Done it and doing it; over several locations to try and provide without the need to pick my bonsai to bits.

Dave

Yes, got a rotary thingamijig somewhere, can't remember where though, not my department Shocked

Had a PM suggesting I sprinkle white pepper across soil surfaces; can't imagine it does any potential harm to trees etc, so have done as suggested. I was aware of this trick to keep foxes away but not for birds. Since doing this yesterday I have not had any 'spuddling' in any of the pots. Perhaps this may well be a solution. Only one day but one day is good; now to see what happens over the next day.

Thank you for the tip.

Mike Jones
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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Guest on Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:08 pm

I hate to brake it to you guys

But, a blackbird hunting on a lawn for worms, stop very often....not so much to look arround for enemies....but to LISTEN for rainworms in the soil, the bird have no problem with hearing a rainworm one beaklenght dawn....this is why the blackbird always catch the worm, when it strikes.
In dry seasons, the worms stay deeper in the soil, outside the birds reach.....and the bird may find your bonsaipots interesting....but ONLY if they contains worms.
A blackbird does not mess arround in a bonsaipot, on the outlook for a worm, just because the soil is moist. It will only be interested in the pot, if it hear a worm.
I realised that many years ago, and made sure not to have rainworms/worms in my small pots Very Happy.
Blackbirds do not visit my bonsaipots in dry periodes.

It may not be unlikely, that a bird can be thought to hunt in pots, if it many times found a worm.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Harleyrider on Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Coming, as you do, from an area of the country with a large rural community, it would be fairly easy to borrow a bloody gert shotgun, I assume?

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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Mike Jones on Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:39 am

Harleyrider wrote:Coming, as you do, from an area of the country with a large rural community, it would be fairly easy to borrow a bloody gert shotgun, I assume?

Ahh yes Steve; we find it a perfect way for getting rid of moles, which also airiates the lawn nicely.


Mike Jones
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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  Paul B (Scotland) on Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:34 pm


Mike,

you need to get a Bonsai Kitten affraid

http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/archive/permalink/bonsai_kitten/


Paul

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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  AK_Panama on Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:24 pm

Get a cat! cat

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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  fiona on Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:39 am

I've been looking for this pic since you put the thread up, Mike. Taken a couple of years ago (probably the last time we had that strong sunshine come to think of it) when we had a family of blackies nesting in the garden. It's sweet to see the little chicks of sparrows and bluetits fluttering away waiting to be fed by their mamas, but it doesn't half look daft when the "lil chick" is this size. They seemed to be finding enough to eat elsewhere and left the trees alone.





fiona
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Re: Blackbirds …sigh

Post  AlainK on Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:42 am

Put traps.
Eat them.
Taste better than pigeons, flesh more tender, more savoury.

AlainK
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