Keeping the birds out of the cherries

Don't you just love fresh cherries this time of year? I'm crazy about them but, unfortunately, so are the robins, magpies, starlings and sparrows. We have 5 cherry trees and it's a battle to get any amount of fruit off of them.

A couple of years ago, we tried an experiment of covering the trees with huge sheets of floating row cover. The trees looked like giant white lollipops, which was kind of humorous, but the wind shredded the covers to where it became an exercise in futility. We haven't repeated that experiment since although we did get to harvest a few more cherries that way.

Last year, we used narrow mylar flash tape to try to scare the birds. It worked better than the row cover treatment from the previous year but we felt we could still do a little better. Now what?

Well, this year, I found a 2-inch-wide holographic bird scare ribbon that has gotten pretty good reviews. Perhaps the wider width will be a little more scary to the birds, between the increased amount of reflective surfaces that flash when they move and the more noise they make in the wind.

I had also heard of the Irri-Tape bird repellent tape made by Bird-X but noticed that the above holographic bird scare ribbon got better reviews so decided to go with that. Besides, it was only $10 for a 100-foot roll compared to $43.

We have hung strips of the bird scare ribbon in each cherry tree this morning and, since there's been a light breeze blowing today, noticed it really makes quite a lot of noise. If you click on the top photo, you'll be better able to see the scare ribbon. We're keeping an eye on any bird activity around the trees and I'll report back later on how it worked.