The Q&A Archives: Raspberry Protection from Birds

Question: Do I have to cover my wild raspberry plants to protect them from the birds? If I do, what material do you suggest?

Answer: I wasn't sure if you were referring to young seedling plants or to the fruit, but either are considered tasty morsels by birds. There are two tactics you can use to keep birds from eating your crops: scaring them away and using barriers around your plants. Products such as the Great Horned Owl sentry (an owl-shaped flag made of mylar) wave in the breeze and scare birds away from your plants. You can also fashion your own flags using strips of reflective, lightweight fabric. There are the old standbys such as hanging aluminum pie pans from the branches, metallic reflective tape, wind chimes. These do work for some folks on some birds, especially if you keep changing and moving them about. It's best to wait until fruit is ripening before installing these so the birds don't have a chance to get used to them beforehand. You may also need to alternate between different scare tactics for the same reason. Barriers such as bird netting can be draped over your plants to make the fruits inaccessible to birds.

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