Not really sure how I missed it, actually. It’s simple, easy and completely efficient. I mean, if the resorts can do it, why can’t I, right? That’s what I finally decided, anyway. If stringing lines over pools and outdoor restaurants can keep unwanted birds out of the guests’ hair and food, they should certainly be able to keep the birds out of my blueberries.
And it does. It totally does! Bird netting is the old standby and works, but it’s cumbersome and traps the bees inside. Bad. Very bad. Garlic sprays and the like don’t work especially well, because the birds don’t seem to mind the stench and I do. Ewe. But string? It’s a no-brainer. At least, once the idea popped into my brilliant mind, it was a no-brainer. Duh.
Locating my son’s kite string, I promptly tied one end around a branch above my blueberry patch then wound the string from end to end, using the branches of my plants as tie points. The handle was then hooked to a larger blueberry plant and voilà–I have a bird-proof cover for my blueberries! If you don’t have a handy tree overhead, simply attach the string to stakes planted at strategic points around your bushes.
Why does this work? Not sure. Some suggest the bird’s focus goes in and out on the string and it scares them. Or, maybe they have some kind of sensory capability that tells them a barrier is between them and the blueberries. Whatever the reason, it works.
Other options include shiny tape to scare birds away (due to its “flashy” quality), or perhaps you could string a few CDs over your bushes. The movement and flash will freak the birds out and they’ll steer clear. All are humane and effective — and win-win! I get blueberries for my yogurt, the birds get to live.
Everyone’s happy. Mind you, this technique can also work for your general garden, so if you have pesky birds looking to take over your harvest, think: string.