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Birds: Will they eat garden vegetables?

Posted by coffeehaus 7a Central VA (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 2, 14 at 17:43

We have several resident Brown Thrashers who visit our vegetable garden daily. I assumed that they were only after our blueberries. However, some creature has recently been eating peppers while the peppers are still on the plant. The holes in the peppers are from 1-2 inches and larger in size and there are markings that could have been made by claws or beaks. We also had a significant divot taken out of the side of a head of cabbage. DH has observed the Thrashers flying in and out of these areas. We've got a wire mesh fence enclosing the garden, but a rabbit, a squirrel, or a fox could possibly squeeze through, so those are our alternate suspects, although we've not seen any of these perps. The damage is too high for it to be a turtle, and not extensive enough to be a raccoon.
Just wondering if anyone else has had this problem.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Birds: Will they eat garden vegetables?

Brown Thrashers will eat insects and fruit. You could try some flash tape. Good luck.


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RE: Birds: Will they eat garden vegetables?

Last year I noticed someone was damaging my ripening tomatoes - they had holes in them. I was blaming it on squirrels until I noticed a small grey bird coming to my tomato plants , pecking a hole in a ripe tomato and it seemed like the bird was picking seeds out of tomato… then it would do the same to the next tomato and the next. I had to cover all my cherry tomatoes with the net, since it looked like the bird was particularly attracted to cherry tomatoes.


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RE: Birds: Will they eat garden vegetables?

Keep a bowl of water next to the tomatoes. Most likely the birds will leave it as well as the other plants alone. They peck on tomatoes and other fleshy fruits to get water.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato Growing Tips


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RE: Birds: Will they eat garden vegetables?

The birds use my garden as a salad bar. They don't take the seeds, instead, they nibble at the new growth of seedlings. My peas, beets and chard all get eaten unless I put netting over to protect it.


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RE: Birds: Will they eat garden vegetables?

This year we've had an influx of birds. I think the reason is that we have a number of shrubs that are maturing and starting to produce more and more fruit. We don't have a feeder filled at all, just filling up the bird bath. I counted 7 robins yesterday and there's at least one pair of catbirds, and an oriole stopped by the other day. All of them are hanging around the vegetable garden and bird bath. I was watching them with the binoculars this morning and the catbird pair was hopping in and out of the patch of Cilantro, pecking away at what I imagine are insects. Same pair was having a good time all around the cabbage plants.

I don't have any seedlings per se to damage, and I'd be surprised if they were doing more than just looking for insects.

My only concern is the droppings that are showing up on the foliage of some of the plants.


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RE: Birds: Will they eat garden vegetables?

Yes, they are bad on ripe tomatoes. Last couple of years they've been hell on my young peas, two years in a row no peas in the home garden as a consequence.


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RE: Birds: Will they eat garden vegetables?

I never thought they eat seedlings as well. I always thought the slugs were to blame. I will try to keep an inflatable scarecrow or snake and see if that helps. May be that is why my Diakon radish seedlings are disappearing.


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RE: Birds: Will they eat garden vegetables?

I don't know if you have wood pigeons in the US but they eat Brassicas in the winter and can strip a crop of cabbage or kale to its midribs. We always have to net winter greens. They also go after pea seedlings in the spring.


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RE: Birds: Will they eat garden vegetables?

I spray the hottest hot sauce and hottest ground hatch chilis possible mixed with nearly no water and some powdered garlic.

The rabbits stopped eating my beans. I've never had a bird problem.


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RE: Birds: Will they eat garden vegetables?

Some pesky Robbins pecked at all my seedlings last year.

From that point on, I grew seedlings indoors until they are about 12 weeks old


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RE: Birds: Will they eat garden vegetables?

If you find slugs at night, leave cornmeal near their bodies. I read that they gravitate them, and it also kills them, because it's coarse. SO, if they die near your plants, expect to see (or hear) birds happily eating the slugs the next morning.

I read you're supposed to leave the meal in a cup, to dispose them yourself. I dropped a small scoop on the ground, one slug went straight for it, was dead in the morning, and eaten by birds. The only problem is ants will be attracted to the cornmeal. With wind, rain, and ants, however, it was gone in a few days.

Birds love baby strawberries on a hanging basket!

One bird made a small hole in the dirt on my basil/tomato basket.


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