Finches!!!

angiemomma4April 11, 2012

I know that one answer to this is to cover everything with reemay or some time of netting but aside from that, is there anything else that can be done for all of these little birds munching my peas, lettuce & even brassica leaves down to the nub? Seriously here, it's birds. Not rabbits or rats or mice or anything else. I've watched them do it and now I am so grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I suppose netting is an option but it is a lot of area to net and I wondered if anything else works for you---shiny things like mylar strips or foil or scare eyes or?

Thanks for the help. I'm hesitant to even start seedlings in the ground this year. They seem voracious.

Angie

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Joe1980(5)

I have the same problem every year with the house finches and house sparrows. I bought a roll of hunter green tulle from a crafts store, and cover up my seedlings until they get beyond the "sugar" stage. Seedings, when they first sprout, have sugar in them, which is what the birds like, but once they get their second set of leaves, they start to convert to starch, and the birds will not be interested anymore. You can also try putting a rubber snake in the garden, or a hawk decoy. I haven't tried that, but I hear it can work.

For the tulle cover, I just use little pieces of duct tape to secure it to my fence, and then angle it to the ground, where I use metal landscape fabrit staples to secure it. Light and water can easily get through the tulle, as well as air flow. Keeps the birds out, as well as insects. Good luck!

Joe

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 6:40PM
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angiemomma4

Thanks Joe. I do have some tulle actually so I need to find a way to put it over my raised beds without moving all my trellises.

You should SEE what they did to some lettuces. I knew they liked peas but they must be really really hungry to go after the lettuce the way they have. There are all these poor little stalks of lettuce with no leaves today. It's been pouring down rain so I thought they may give me a break but guess not!

Angie

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 7:03PM
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Joe1980(5)

Nope, in fact, they ripped up my cucumbers last summer, although cukes grow so fast that they can tolerate the chomping. Peas are definately a favorite, and they also tore out all of my kohlrabi seedlings once too. Needless to say, I think anything green is fair game!

Joe

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 7:50PM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

Do they have water? I've had luck providing them with a bird bath. Mostly they attack vegetables for moisture rather than food (and would rather have water). But at this season they may be using it for nesting material. Maybe provide an alternative?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 8:07PM
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maj742(5)

Old sheer curtains work to cover fruit and vegetables against birds. I use snap clothespins to anchor them down.
I also use various fences propped up here and there.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 8:35PM
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Joe1980(5)

I have feeders and a bird bath in the yard, which they use all the time. Finches have a diet of 100% vegetable and seed matter, in fact, house finches are the only birds that do not feed their young insects. Eating seedlings, tree buds, seeds, and other vegetable matter is natural for them, so the only option is to cover your garden.

Joe

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 10:49PM
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RpR_(3-4)

Daisy Red Rider

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 3:29PM
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Robbie3(6a)

I feed them. They leave my garden alone as long as the wire mesh (best style) feeder is full of thistle.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 4:25PM
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bella_trix(z6b SE PA)

I had the same problem with my peas. I found reflective pinwheels in the store and attached them to the trellises.

It worked fairly well.

Good luck,
Bellatrix

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:04AM
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angiemomma4

Thank you for taking the time to help. Sometimes people look at me like I've lost my mind when I tell them I have a finch problem, as it would seem that they might actually HELP because of the bug issues and all but they are just awful. And I believe it is due to what was mentioned by Joe. I think they do go into baby making mode and just strip everything in sight to feed their young. And that's sweet and all but not as sweet as my snap peas, ya know?

Angie

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 1:50PM
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