Protecting blueberries from birds is a necessary measure to ensure the safety of your harvest. The small, sweet blue treats are packed with vitamins and antioxidants and are an attractive target for birds and other wildlife to consume. Grown abundantly from the start of spring to the early fall months, the ripening period for blueberries is right at the height of Summer, leaving farmers looking for bird prevention products to shield their abundant crops. While there are many bird-repellent strategies, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite methods and tips to help you safeguard your blueberries this season.
Why Do Birds Eat Blueberries?
As a delicious, antioxidant-packed fruit filled with many vitamins and minerals, blueberries offer birds a valuable source of nutrition to their diet. Their bright blue color is easy to spot from a distance and is the perfect size for birds to quickly devour when searching for a food source. Blueberries are also grown low to the ground, with bushes typically standing around 6 inches high, the perfect height for birds to easily reach.
What Bird Species Enjoy Blueberries?
When grown on large commercial farmlands, you may find various bird species intrigued with your croplands. Depending on your location, you may recognize the following birds attracted to your blueberry crop:
- Gray Catbirds
- Purple Finches
- Cedar Waxwings,
- Northern Cardinals
Other wildlife, such as mice, squirrels, and rabbits, may also find blueberry bushes appealing. When growing your blueberry crop, it’s essential to find the best preventative solutions to ensure abundant growth and repel unwanted guests from destroying your farmland.
Protecting Blueberries From Birds: Our Best Methods and Tips
Nearly 1 billion pounds of blueberries are grown commercially in North America annually. The average mature blueberry bush produces anywhere from 5 to 20 lbs. Now, take acres of farmland into account; that’s thousands of blueberries that must be protected to meet supply and demand needs and ensure a profitable return of your harvest. With stakes high, farmers and agriculturalists must take actionable bird-preventative measures to ensure the long-term success of their blueberry plants.
Here are our top 5 tips for protecting blueberries from birds to safeguard your harvest.
Use Bird Baths and Feeders
If you’re operating your blueberry growth on a small farmland, you may find simple solutions such as bird baths or feeders as a viable preventative option. A blueberry is comprised of nearly 80% water, leaving it a hydrating source for birds and other wildlife. Often, birds will target blueberry bushes because they are simply looking for a plentiful water source. Placing bird baths strategically around your farmlands offers an alternative water source and may help prevent birds from pecking at your sacred fruit.
Bird feeders also provide an enticing alternative for birds to feast on, allowing them to fill up on nuts and seeds instead of water-dense crops. Bird feed is also more calorie-dense than fruit, leaving birds fuller for longer and preventing them from frequent returns to your farm.
It’s essential to fill bird baths with fresh, clean water and refill bird feeders when necessary.
Craft Visual Deterrents
Investing in ceramic or plastic animals intimidating to birds may prevent them from feasting on your bountiful blueberry crops. Owls, hawks, and even scarecrows have been found to help deter birds from a specific area. However, birds are brilliant creatures and will catch on eventually to the fake decoy. Consider a ceramic owl with a rotating head that blows in the wind to confuse your feathery friends, and relocate your fake predators every 3-4 days to throw your unwanted guests off track.
Drape Bird Netting
Bird netting is an easy and cost-efficient solution for protecting blueberries from birds. Blueberry bushes remain relatively close to the ground, allowing for fast coverage and removal of netting. Farmers can also easily reach under to harvest their blueberry crop without any feathery friends getting in.
Bird netting comes in various materials, like nylon, plastic, and metal. A small, high-quality netting is best suited for small bushes, as it enables the perfect amount of sunlight and water to reach your plants while also allowing essential pollinators, like bees, to stimulate growth..
If the holes in the netting are too large, birds may be able to fit their beaks through to peck at your fruit. Further, if your netting is not adequately secured using stakes or staples, birds can enter underneath the netting, risking injury or perfect access to your blueberries.
Install Avian Lasers
Bird-repellent lasers emit a non-lethal laser beam across a targeted area, acting as a visual deterrent for birds. Birds see this light as a threat and will scare them from nesting in unwanted areas. Most devices are programmable, allowing users to set different times for lasers to go off. However, this device is most effective at dusk, evening, and sunrise hours. The emitted green light may not be as visible in the daylight.
Protecting Blueberries from Birds Using Sound Deterrents
There are many sound-emitting devices designed to prevent birds from flocking near various croplands. For example, sonic devices emit high-pitched or predator-like sounds to frighten or annoy birds from resting in agricultural areas. Propane cannons are another notable option for protecting blueberries from birds, as the cannon is designed to emit a loud blast that can cover acres of land, startling birds.
These devices are best for large commercial agricultural spaces, as many other bird control devices do not have the ability to cover such vast areas of croplands. Blueberry farms can range from 5 to 25 acres long, requiring a device that can reach great lengths. A single propane cannon can reach up to 10 acres, making it an efficient device to protect your fruit.
Protect Your Farm and Crops by Partnering With Good Life
Protecting blueberries from birds is vital in safeguarding your harvest and ensuring that production needs are met. However, it’s essential to find a bird prevention technique that is humane and eco-friendly to protect precious wildlife at all costs.
At Good Life, we strive to create products that eliminate the need for poisons or dangerous traps that harm birds and other wildlife. We have years of experience in managing pests and other unwanted animals with knowledgeable customer service reps to ensure you receive the best products for your needs to keep your harvest bountiful and bird-free.
If you’re ready to take control of a bird problem or are interested in other forms of pest control, contact us. We’ll help you protect your farmlands safely and humanely.