Garden Pests

How to Keep Birds out of Garden Beds & Containers

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Are birds eating your garden? Birds are lovely to see in the yard, but sometimes they damage plants or eat whatever you’re growing – especially berries. Find out how to keep birds out of garden beds and containers to take back your garden and all its bounty!

Keeping birds out of the garden can help to improve your harvest, but it doesn’t have to mean scaring the avian friends away.

How to Keep Birds out of Garden Beds and Containers - Pretty Bird Sitting on Shrubs - Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels
Pretty Bird Sitting on Shrubs – Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels

First, let’s look at a few reasons you might want to keep birds out of garden beds and containers.

Why should I keep birds out of the garden?

Birds can be friends or foes for gardeners. This boils down to their behavior and what they eat, generally.

Here are some reasons to keep birds out of garden spaces:

  • Birds may eat your crops. Raspberries and blueberries are at special risk!
  • The birds might introduce invasive seeds or other undesirable seeds.
  • Some birds may interfere with the garden ecosystem. (Save the worms!)
  • Birds may steal seeds you were planning on saving to plant next year!

Do birds eat bees or wasps?

Some birds like bee-eaters and summer tanagers eat bees and wasps. These birds focus on finding and catching flying insects during flight.

Birds that eat bees may not be welcome as we want to save our pollinators! However, some insect eating birds can actually be beneficial for the garden, depending on what those birds eat.

Do birds eat snails?

Yes, birds both wild and domesticated may eat snails. Snails can be problematic among flowers and crops, so it may actually be a blessing to have birds nearby on snail patrol.

Interestingly, according to National Geographic, itty bitty snails may actually survive being eaten, coming out intact on the other side.

How to Keep Birds out of Garden Beds

Birdies eating fruit and other crops directly from the garden can cause a problematic situation. All the hard work you’ve done in cultivating fruit, vegetables, flowers, and herbs may be dashed in moments as the birds chow down.

Bird Eating Fruit on the Tree - Photo by Spoortesh Honey of Pexels
Bird Eating Fruit on the Tree – Photo by Spoortesh Honey of Pexels

Discover a few methods on how to keep birds out of garden beds and container gardens to help protect your crops and seeds.

1. Try a scarecrow or a scare-owl.

The solar-powered motion owl may be a good choice for scaring off smaller birds that my want to go after your crops. Be sure to move the fake owl around here and there to make it seem real.

2. Make a garland of tin pans or beer cans.

Those little foil pans that often come with takeout may enjoy a second life in the garden. Rather than a scarecrow, you may like to create your own beer can or soda can bird deterrents. Put the cans upside-down on sticks or stakes in the garden. You can also attach foil pans similarly.

3. Add pinwheels.

Pretty pinwheels do more than just look good. Set out some lovely pinwheels, even those from the dollar store. The wind causes them to spin and the spinning motion is often helpful in keeping birds out of garden beds and containers.

4. Entice birds elsewhere.

Perhaps one of the best ideas is to draw the birds away from the plants. Look for a squirrel-proof bird feeder to encourage birds to leave the garden alone and instead go for a yummy meal on the other side of your yard.

5. Arrange fake snakes in the garden.

You may be able to deter birds in the garden with fake snakes or inflatable snakes that you move around the garden as decoys.

6. Use a physical barrier.

Butterfly netting, row covers, plant covers, and other barriers may help prevent birds from ravaging your garden. Try covering fruit bushes with plant covers to protect them from the birds and problematic insects. Use caution with wildlife netting that has larger holes, as some birds may become entangled in it. Aim for netting with holes smaller than one centimeter.

7. Try reflective scare tape.

Reflective scare tape may help to scare off birds who want to go in the garden.

8. Consider bird repellent blinders and twisting rods.

Wind-activated bird deterrents may help to keep feathered friends out of the garden. Movement seems to startle birds pretty reliably, so look for bird prevention products that include some kind of movement.

Keep birdies out of the garden with these helpful tips.

American Goldfinch eating seeds - Photo by Aaron J Hill from Pexels
American Goldfinch eating seeds – Photo by Aaron J Hill from Pexels

Preventing Birds

From crop loss to seed loss, it can be beneficial to prevent birds from getting too comfortable in your gardens. You can use these safe and humane methods to discourage birds from entering your garden spaces.

Do you have other suggestions on how to keep birds out of garden beds and containers?

Be sure to share them in our comments below or ask any questions that you may have.

Happy Gardening!

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