Protecting Blueberries from Birds - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Protecting Blueberries from Birds

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

All the rain we've gotten has been beneficial to blueberries. They're really sizing up nicely. But if you have blueberries, chances are you have birds!

Birds love blueberries. You can work really hard to produce a nice big berry bush and then they'll come in a wipe you out. So you have to be very proactive about protecting your bushes and there are a couple of things you can do.

If you just have a couple of bushes, you can cover them with a floating row cover. It just drapes right over the top of the bush and I've used four stakes placed around the bush so the cloth doesn't sit on top of the bush. You wrap it over and around the bush, and just pull it up to harvest them. After harvest put it back down and the birds never get in there to cause a problem.

If you have a bigger plantation you might want to use a little reflective tape. Just string this tape back and forth across the tops of your blueberries. The birds get very distracted when it blows in the wind and reflects light, so it keeps them away.

The same idea works for the scare eye balloons. The scare eye balloon is supposed to mimic a hawk's eye. You hang it up around your blueberry patch and they think a hawk is checking out what's going on and, of course, they don't want to get eaten, so they take off!

And then finally, if none of these other techniques work, you can try sugar water solution. Take 5 pounds of table sugar, dissolve it into 2 quarts of water and then put that in a 1 gallon sprayer. Spray the mixture on the bushes. It seems that the birds can digest fructose and glucose, but not the sucrose in table sugar and so they get a little tummy upset and they don't come back.

~by Charlie Nardozzi

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