Anyone who has planted a garden outdoors knows that birds can be both friends and foes. They are beneficial because they tend to eat invasive and harmful insects, keeping the population down and the plants healthy. They also help spread seeds and sometimes even pollinate trees. However, they are also ravenously hungry and can take down an entire crop if they find the fruit tasty enough.
There are methods that can be used that will help control the birds that visit a garden.
One of the oldest methods is to use scarecrows or other mannequin like figures. Certain birds will not approach a garden that has a full scale human figure in it. They are also sometimes afraid of statues of predators. Plastic owls with moveable heads are often used in this way. Of course, the birds do eventually realize that the scarecrows are not a threat, which is why it is important to move them around every so often.
Another bird control method is to buy what is called bird netting. This is usually a green plastic net which can be placed over fruit trees and other crops that the birds are regularly raiding. It acts as a physical barrier, preventing them from reaching the fruit. It is often best to create a frame for the netting from wood or PVC tubing and then place that frame over the plants that are in danger.
As a side note, some gardeners experience problems with birds getting stuck in the netting by accident. This problem is usually remedied by using flash tape. It is a reflective silver tape that you cut into strips and tie to the netting so the birds are aware something is there. The motion of the tape in the wind will also scare away some types of small birds.
Birds can be very helpful to a growing garden, but left unchecked they may also take a heavy toll once the plants begin to bear fruit. Be cautious and always keep an eye on what the birds are doing.