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 Bird Scaring 
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Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:01 am
Posts: 36
Location: S.E. Portland, Oregon
Post Bird Scaring
I am looking for techniques to keep the birds away from my new cherries. We have a large blueberry patch, and after netting it for several years, I have given that up and just out-produce their ability to eat them. So we get plenty of blueberries. But the cherries are newer trees, and there aren't enough to share! I netted them last year, but it was a pain and broke a couple branches. I remember seeing a hawk decoy on a string at a commercial farm in Oregon City some years ago, and thought that would be worth a try. But I haven't found a source locally.

Any info or suggestions to keep my cherries from the local flying pests?

Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:41 pm

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1188
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Bird Scaring
that’s a tuff one. I suspect hanging the “scary” reflective Mylar strips among the branches only lasts so long. I don’t know how well the inflatable big scary eye balloons work..? Please, don’t buy a propane cannon like the vineyard's surrounding me! - and I’d have expected the results you described with netting

If you go with the hawk decoy, remember to move it as often as possible. I’ve used a couple plastic owl replicas that can sit on steel posts, though I’ve hung and sat them around, too. When I moved them daily, it seemed I lost fewer grapes (in my situation) - if I let them sit 3 days in the same place they might as well not have been there. Bird brains are likely smarter than we give them credit for.

Seems I’ve heard/read about a bitter substance you spray on the nearly-ripe fruit, bitter enough to dissuade birds - but water soluble for you - though I believe that was more of a commercial solution and don’t know the cost or hassles involved.

Anyone else..? [Shotguns don’t count :mrgreen: ]

Temperate Orchard Convservancy:

Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:48 pm

Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 1:00 pm
Posts: 204
Location: SE Portland
Post Re: Bird Scaring
What I've done for years for my blueberries is hang a pair of cd's, shiny sides out, on bamboo poles between the bushes. Drill a hole in each near the edge, string them up, and they seem to work. The flash they throw when they're turning in the breeze is enough to frighten me. I don't know if your trees are small enough to make that possible.

Gave me something useful to do with all those free AOL disks we got for so long.


Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:05 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1406
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Bird Scaring
Birds don't eat pie cherries as much. The trees are naturally smaller. I net them anyway because I love them so much. They have more flavor and nutrition and fewer diseases and pests.
John S

Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:27 pm

Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:24 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Jefferson, Oregon
Post Re: Bird Scaring
The first few years I lived at my current house the starlings would get my cherries just before they were ready to be picked. Then one day in the third year, I heard an interesting kind of a bird screech. I looked up and a kestrel was chasing away the starlings. Ever since then I have had a wonderful crop of cherries with no bird problems. I also get all my blueberries, which were planted after the kestrel came. I have seen it several times this year, so I believe it is still going to protect my trees. I think you can attract a kestrel by building an appropriate nesting house and placing it on a tall enough pole.



Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:13 am
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Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:18 am
Posts: 1
Post Re: Bird Scaring
Please have a look at the Scarem Bird Scaring Device at
I know the owner of the company, John Galloway, and he is a farmer
John, had huge problems with pigeons eating his seeds and shoots when they were sowing seeds in the fields
After a lot of success with his bird scaring device for crops he has just developed a version for use in orchards and specially for fruit trees
I am not sure about postage from the UK but it can't be that expensive

Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:21 am
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