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How to Keep Birds from Eating Your Blackberries: 5 Humane Ways


Sharing your hard-earned berries with birds and other wildlife can be frustrating. You put in all the work to ensure your berry plants thrive and produce a healthy harvest, only to have it scavenged. You can hardly blame the birds for enjoying the delicious fruits of your labor. But if you want to enjoy your berries, there are few ways to protect them from your winged visitors. Here are 5 humane ways to keep birds from eating your blackberries.

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The 5 Humane Ways to Keep Birds from Eating Your Blackberries

1. Bird Netting

black berries netting
Image Credit: Medvedeva Oxana, Shutterstock
Types of Netting 
  • Nylon
  • Polypropylene
  • Polyethylene

Anti-bird netting is going to be your best defense to keep those blackberries safe. Netting¹ is easy to install and easy to store away when not in use. You can also reuse it when the next growing season begins, which saves you money in the long run.

This will not only help prevent birds from getting into your berries and other plants, but it will also keep out other wildlife and other pests. It’s very important that bird netting is put up correctly because it can easily entangle and harm the animals you are trying to keep out.

Caring for the plants can be a bit more inconvenient once your netting is in place, especially when it comes time to pick the berries. When you get down to the brass tacks, it’s better to have some minor inconvenience than to have no berries left at all. Be sure to check the netting frequently for any gaps or holes.

  • Offers the best protection
  • Easy to install
  • Keeps out birds and other animals
  • Does not harm the plant
  • Inconvenient for harvesting and care
  • Risk of wildlife becoming entangled

2. Predator Decoys

fake owl in the garden
Image Credit: Peter, Pixabay
Types of Decoys 
  • Hawks
  • Owls
  • Coyotes
  • Eagles
  • Snakes
  • Scarecrow

Predator decoys are a great way to keep birds away from your plants. Birds are naturally fearful and are always on high alert. If they notice something that resembles a potential predator, they aren’t going to risk it.

These decoys include replicas of hawks, owls, eagles, snakes, or coyotes. You can even purchase a scarecrow for the work. Keep in mind the intelligence of birds, though. They will easily see right through your trickery if the decoy is always sitting in the same spot, so keep moving it around to make it look like it’s a live animal.

There are some battery-operated predator decoys on the market that can move around and make sounds if you want to go the extra mile. These decoys are super easy to use, affordable, and will deter a variety of birds while causing no harm to your plants.

  • Causes no harm to the plant
  • Deters a variety of birds
  • Affordable
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Will need to be moved often
  • Not aesthetically pleasing
  • Can lose effectiveness

3. Display Shiny Objects

Types of Shiny Objects
  • Flash Tape
  • CD’s
  • Mirrors
  • Aluminum cans
  • Tin foil

Birds are not fans of shiny, reflective objects. The reflected light serves as a great deterrent to keep birds from coming back to certain areas. Most people hang them near nesting or frequent landing areas but in this case, you’ll want to hang them up all around your blackberry plants.

There’s a wide variety of shiny objects you can use as a deterrent including flash tape, old CDs, aluminum cans, tin foil, and more. This is a very inexpensive option that utilizes items you likely have in the home. It will cause zero harm to your plants

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to put up
  • Harmless to the plants
  • Some gardeners don’t like the aesthetic

4. Bird Feeders

man holding bird feeder in the tree
Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock
Types of Feed to Use
  • Bird feed with a berry blend
  • Nuts and berries

Using a bird feeder may seem like an oxymoron, but if you are having a lot of trouble keeping those pesky birds out of the berries, try redirecting them with your own bird feeder. They will go to where the food is easy to access, and it doesn’t get more accessible than a feeder.

It’s important to keep in mind that species of birds that are eating your fruit have a certain diet and you will need to offer up a feed that will attract them to the feeder. You can either purchase bird feed that has berries blended in, or you can place your own nuts and berries in the feeder.

Of course, this can be potentially problematic as it can draw in more birds so you might want to use this idea in conjunction with other deterrents we have mentioned.

  • Attracts birds to the feeder
  • Easily accessible for birds
  • Easy to use
  • Will attract more birds
  • Best used with another deterrent

5. Plant Extra

red apples on a tree apple bunch
Image Credit: Konevi, Pixabay
What to Plant
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Mulberries
  • Currants
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Plums

If you are willing to share, you can always choose to plant extra fruit so there’s more to go around. You can choose to overplant blackberries or go for an even wider variety of fruits that the birds will enjoy. Overplanting will undoubtedly yield more harvest, which could leave you with enough to suit your needs while allowing the birds to have their fair share.

While there should be plenty to go around but you do run the risk of losing more of your harvest than expected. Having extra fruit could attract more birds and result in more of your fruit being eaten, so it can be a gamble.

  • Overplanting yields more berries
  • There should be enough to go around
  • You may potentially lose more harvest

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Birds That Eat Fruit

robin bird inside a house by the window
Image Credit: Nancy Salmon, Shutterstock

While not all backyard birds will eat fruit, there are plenty of species that include fruit as part of their natural diet.

The most common birds you may observe (depending on your location) eating your garden fruits include:
  • American Robin
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Black-headed Grosbeak
  • Blue Jay
  • Bohemian Waxwing
  • Brown Thrasher
  • Bullock’s Oriole
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Eurasian Blackcap
  • European Starling
  • Gray Catbird
  • House Finch
  • House Wren
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Northern Flicker
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Purple Finch
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Scarlet Tanager
  • Summer Tanager
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Western Tanager
  • Woodpeckers
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler

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There may be a variety of backyard birds that will turn your berry bushes into their own personal buffet, but there are a few different humane ways to keep them from eating your blackberries. Each method has its pros and cons, and it may require a bit of trial and error to find what works best for you.

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Featured Image Credit: adonyig, Pixabay


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