KEEPING BIRDS OUT OF THE VINEYARD
Pat feeds the birds up at our house - we even have some nice new hummingbird feeders.We love to see birds, BUT NOT IN THE VINEYARD! The month before harvest starts is when we work on a lot of bird damage control endeavors. The birds like to peck on the grape clusters, and then wasps like to suck the juice out - or the robins completely disappear the berries. You may see clusters with no grapes on them.
With birds, it is not even a case of "planting a few extra for them." They can come in and destroy 100% of some varieties.
We use many different things to keep the birds away. We use deterrents such as bird alarms, bird balloons, bird netting and reflective streamers and sometimes just go out and yell at the birds (probably doesn't do much - but we feel better). No one thing works by itself - you need to use a combination of things to make the birds uncomfortable and want to go visit your neighbor rather than feed at your place.
- Bird Gard System - This is a battery operated electronic bird repeller. It has 4 speakers and emits 6 to 8 different sounds of birds in distress. We have 2 of them in operation.
- Bird netting - We put netting on top of some of the rows (The Canadice Seedless). These seem to be the most attractive variety to the birds - so we cover the most sensitive with netting. REMEMBER - THE NETTING IS TO KEEP THE BIRDS OUT NOT YOU! Please just lift the netting up and pull out a staple if necessary and climb under or lift it up to pick your grapes.
- Reflective tape & Bird Eye Balloons - The ballooon and reflective tape are all over the vineyard - it will be hard to miss them.
(Turn your audio up to hear the bird alarms - it sounds like a jungle)