How to keep birds away from berries besides buying bird netting

Some ideas on how to keep birds away from your blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries.  Buying bird netting to keep birds out of your berry field is an expensive and massive task with pitfalls besides the cost and labor.  The netting is more often caught on the berry bushes than not, the netting tangles wildlife and can kill them.  You only wanted to scare the birds, right?  The netting does deter birds but there are other wildlife that will visit, so why not use a bird deterrent that works for the many.

So we can agree, right, blueberry bird netting would be gone wrong …..  Blackberries and blueberries. Birds love them. So do people. How to save your berries.

This article is inspired by our u-pick blueberry farm client in Lincoln, Illinois.  When he mentioned covering 3,500 blueberry plants with blueberry netting… wow.  There had to be a better way.  While I was researching the other ways on how to keep birds away from his berry field, I found many stories on how the birds, chipmunks, squirrels, and even deer became tangled in the netting, pulling it to the ground, damaging blueberry bushes and even dying from the netting around them so they could not breathe.  My inspiration on an easier solution than blueberry netting became a goal to find a more humane means to protecting berries from the bird onslaught during ripening and harvest.

Berries protected from birds only a short time

The good news is this is a ripening season for berries, not the entire year or a long season of planting, growth and harvest.  So all these means to the end of scaring birds out of the berry field will be used periodically each year, once implemented, you will not need to take on the cost again, unless you are using fireworks at dawn.  Grinning, that is not on the list.

Protecting blueberries from birds… and raspberries and strawberries….

  • Flash tape against birds eating blueberries, any berries for that matter….. meaning strips of Mylar or foil tape that flutter in the breeze, scaring the birds away.  Birds don’t like the shine from the flash tape, and anything that moves is good for keeping birds out of the area.
  • Grandpa and Grandma bird in the berry patch bird deterrents were the old shiny pie tins.  Of course, when frustrated by the pie tins not working, they used a shotgun too.
  • Modern nerd bird scare is to use a band of old CDs on a length of twine.
  • Party style bird off is reflective trays tied on row lengths of reflective garland from a party store and huge mylar balloons.
  • Holographic reflective material to scare birds which seems to work longer and better than above, since they see so much lifelike movement. But do not have a clue on cost.
  • Wedding veil patch cover protection for berries.  Instead of netting that hangs up on plants, the tulle used for bridal veils, lacing three rows together. Said less expense too. If you ever had to go this far, wholesale bolts.  How to keep birds away from a berry patch is using a megaphone, pictured.
  • Too much talking, keeps them flying and not eating your black berries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.  Radios around field, transistors. Talk shows are best.  Turn off often enough so the sound seems new to birds.
  • Yeousa! LOUD noises scare birds away from berry fields.  Hand held air horns. Also a megaphone with siren or to talk into.
  • Bird Bombs!  Kaboom does it too, even louder scare tactics against birds eating berry patch.  Gas powered noisemaker in middle of field on timer. Propane cannons.  Fireworks at dawn.  So it is on the list, after I wrote it at the beginning, thought it was a fun idea.  Especially in the u-pick berry patch that gets the pickers in the mood and they will not forget you.
  • Trouble in the berries, they said….. Don’t want none of that scene either.  Use some bird distress calls from a hunting / sporting goods store.  If you can get disposable ones inexpensively, you can give these to your u-pick customers and field pickers too.
  • Scarecrows against birds.  Many scarecrows up high, owls and falcons. The kind that move, the plastic ones they just perch on unless streamers and balloons are added or you are standing there shaking it and making it talk.
  • Tunnels and kites to scare bird flocks away from the field.  Falcon and owl wind tunnels and kites are especially effective on poles around he berry field.

    Groshawk has taken a bird.

    Professional falconers are used by commercial berry growers to protect their harvest. While not exactly humane, the hawk must eat too. And it is not a slaughter because no birds in their right survival mode would frequent the berry patch with the hawk in attendance.

  • Real falcons scare bird from eating berries, but don’t know that we could call it humane.   This is extreme bird control in hiring a falconer but there are commercial growers that do use falconer services to keep birds away from berry crops.  Suggested, tongue-in-cheek.
  • The restaurant and spa for birds.  Birdbaths and birdfeeders around the patch in a joint effort to keep them out of the patch just during your ripening season.  Yes, feed and water them in berry-ripening time.  Seriously.  When birds raid the berry patch, a theory is they are actually more thirsty and the high water content in berries makes your berry crop the perfect vacation spot for thirsty birds.  By having a bird bath nearby with the birdfeeders next to that, you give them what they really want, and they leave your berries alone. Also they love the sound of a fountain or dripping water.  So the spa works better when you give then those water activities.  A water dripper and a water fountain.   The bird baths will bring a wide variety of back yard birds to your yard, and many of these birds feast on insect pests too which is an element of organic control.  But the unfortunate element is they might want your berries for dessert anyway.  That is why the reflective tricks and transistor in the middle of the berry field and the kites and wind tunnels.

How to keep birds away from the berry patch and garden means complementary methods

A good combination of these organic bird scare treatments will keep the masses out of the berry field and you will keep your crop the natural and humane way.  Hopefully these tricks are a lot less hassle and expense than netting that ends of sticking to the berry branches, tangling birds and animals, is expensive and a formidable system for a large berry field whether blueberry, strawberry, raspberry or blackberry.


Our banner for fruit fertilizer - images are orchards, raspberries, blueberries and black raspberries, greenhouse tomatoes plus the AGGRAND liquid fertilizers. Reads: LIQUID FERTILIZERS FORMULATED FOR FOLIAR FEED AND SOIL APPLICATIONS ORGANIC SERIES 4-3-3 ALL NATURAL 4-3-3 ORGANIC KELP BONEMEAL & LIME PRICES & INFO Totes, drums, pails, units. AGGRAND fertilizers are seldom sold in stores. Choose retail prices, PC wholesale prices or commercial business use. Click for store.With the birds often are the pests and the possible diseases, the drought and heat waves, the frosts off season and more.

AGGRAND Liquid Kelp is listed in all the crop guides we write so you will know hat the liquid kelp is a strengthener for crops of all kids, and berries too.  At the first sign of infestation, disease, pests, drought, anything at all that threatens your crop, use a foliar application of AGGRAND liquid kelp to your plants, misting to thoroughly cover the leaves over and under.  We talk you through, so email or call.

Per acre – Basically, if you have an acre of berry plants, no matter what they are, for the entire season spring to autumn you will need 4-3-3, liquid bonemeal and liquid kelp for soil applications to the plant root area in the spring and a few more applications once a month for root, if desired.  Double that if your soil is hard and needs organic matter since you will add it spring AND autumn.  Sure it will cost, but this is not for long, soil improves with AGGRAND as you get the earthworms and jungle in the root area to feed plants too.    You need 4-3-3 (2 gallons at two month intervals applied to roots along with 1 quarts of liquid kelp each time.  The foliar applications are a fine mist of 4-3-3 at first, recipe of one gallon 4-3-3 with 50 gallons water when leaves open and at first bloom.  Follow with 2 quarts of liquid kelp in 50 gallons water during fruit formation until 3 weeks before the harvest.  That comes out to a per acre order of 6 gallons of 4-3-3, 2 to 4 gallons of liquid bonemeal, and 6 quarts of liquid kelp.  For the season and prepping for next season.  This is a general guide that is on a page about how to scare away birds from a berry field without buying bird netting.  We have the details on the Berry Guide by AGGRAND, the soil analysis and we give personal service in walking you through the way to a fabulous berry crop.  Yes, we have bulk in drums and totes for commercial growers.  So email or call.  Need a quote, send a message with details.

Rows in backyard – Basically, if you are fertilizing a backyard patch, you will need 4 quarts of 4-3-3, a quart of liquid kelp and 2 quarts of liquid bonemeal to get through the season and probably will have enough left for the next year f you don’t use your AGGRAND fertilizers on everything else besides the berries.   Anyway, that’s around $65 wholesale.  Join as our preferred customer for the wholesale prices.  Or retail for 25% more.  See PCs save on right banner.

Those prices don’t scare the birds or anyone.  These are great fertilizers, rich in organic matter for you to add to your compost and the soil in your patch.  So this is an organic way to fertilize your berry patch and we have a list of organic, humane scare tactics to keep the birds out of your berry crop for the ripening season of all the blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries.

If you have comments about how you keep birds away from berries without using birdnetting, email, please. Would love to know more.