I believe you agree with me that birds are beautiful creatures. The melodious songs they sing are to die for! But if you have newly planted grass seed, birds can be a pain in the neck. Birds, be it sparrows, finches, blackbirds, and starlings, love grass seed and are an obstacle to growing grass seed. Fortunately, there are so many ways keep birds from eating grass seed
This article will show you the tricks and tactics you can use to curb birds’ challenge eating your seed.
You don’t want your neighborhood birds to make a meal of your grass seed. Mulch is the way to go. What you should do is cover your grass seed using light and loose mulch, like straw or hay. If you use a straw, make sure it’s certified weed-free straw. Your mulch should be light and loose to ensure that your seeds will not be starved of water and light. Your seed needs to grow anyway!
In addition to keep birds from eating grass seed, mulch helps prevent weeds’ growth on your seed. Put down the mulch, making sure you cover about 3/4 of the soil. This means that you leave 25% of the soil uncovered. When the seeds have germinated, rake the mulch away. In doing this, be careful not to damage the new grass. You can remove the mulch by hand, which is even better not to damage your sprouts.
2. Use floating seed cover or netting
Maybe your yard experiences heavy winds, or your local birds are pretty clever and capable of scraping or pecking a mulch aside. Then floating seed cover or netting will be a worthy option.
Floating seed cover can lie directly on top of the seeds. You must raise it to two or three inches above the grass seeds to prevent birds from pecking through the holes. You should also ensure that some light gets through the seeds. Light is essential for the growth of your seeds. To make sure that the edges of your seed cover or netting is secure, use stones or pin it down.
3. Cover with burlap
Maybe you live in a windy area. Mulch won’t do the magic of stopping seed eaters from eating your seed as it is easily blown away by the wind. Covering with burlap is, in this case, a better alternative.
Covering your newly sown seed with burlap is a great way of protecting them from birds. It ensures that birds don’t see the seeds or perk through the material. It has the advantage that water, sunlight, and heat is allowed to go through to the soil’s surface. This provides great conditions for seed growth.
To keep the cover in place, plant wire u- pins on the edges. When the seeds have germinated, simply remove the pins and take the sheet away. You can use old sacks, or you can buy burlap in rolls. The choice is yours!
4. Use fake predators
Did you know that birds get scared easily? That is why birds fly away quickly when you walk towards them. Scaring them away is a cushy task. All you need to do is take advantage of their personality and use humane deterrents to shoo them. I said humane because you wouldn’t want to violate animal rights or interfere with their population.
If birds see their predator, they will shun feasting on your seed no matter how tasty the sprouts look. Examples of fake predators you can use include:
- Rubber snake lying on the soil
- Model of a hawk on top of a pole or fence
- Decoy owl on top of a pole or fence
- Bird barrier rotating owl
The bird barrier rotating owl is an excellent choice as it looks real. It will make sure your seeds are protected from your local birds. A rubber snake is also a great option since birds have a great fear of snakes.
However, when using fake predators, you should make sure that you shift the predator’s position or change the decoy you use. Mind you; birds are quite smart! If they get used to seeing the fake predator, they will catch on your trick. You wouldn’t want that!
5. Use noise to keep birds away
Using noise to scare away birds is another amazing method on how to prevent birds from eating grass seed. Birds and noise are the number one enemies. That is why they frequent quiet places like parks. They prefer stopping and feeding in places where noise is minimal.
Many noisy devices can be used to scare birds away. These include wind chimes,, ultrasound bird repeller, ultrason X Bird, wooden ducks with wings, and aluminum pans.
● Wind chimes
Birds don’t like wind chimes. This is because wind chimes produce a sound that scares them. Larger wind chimes that produce loud sounds should be chosen if you want to get rid of birds effectively. They are an excellent choice since the noise they produce is not annoying to people.
● Ultrasound bird repeller
Ultrasound also works wonders when it comes to deterring birds. It produces a high-frequency sound that scares away birds without affecting other animals—furthermore, an ultrasound works without being noticeable to the human ear.
● Ultrason X Bird repeller
The device creates sound waves that startle birds. The sound waves are above the range of most people’s hearing. Hence, the sound from the ultrason x bird repeller does not make humans uncomfortable.
● Wooden ducks with wings
Wooden ducks with wings that flap in the wind is a great choice of a noise deterrent.
● Aluminum pans
Tie aluminum pans to posts and let them crash around whenever the wind blows. The sound they produce will frighten birds and hence, get rid of them.
6. Sow some treated seed
There are two different types of treated seeds to choose from. These are water absorbent seed and bird repellent seed. The water-absorbent and bird repellent seeds are harmless to both animals and birds. They can be found online or in gardening and home improvement stores.
● Water-absorbent seed
Water absorbent seed is not to deter birds but rather to assist your seed to retain more water. It retains ten times more water than standard grass seed. Water absorbent seeds germinate pretty fast as compared to regular seeds. This ensures that your neighborhood birds won’t have as much time to make a meal out of your seeds, as is the case with normal seeds, which takes longer to germinate.
● Bird repellent seed
Getting bird repellent grass seed is another option that you can use to prevent birds from eating your grass seed. Bird repellent seed is coated with a foul-tasting substance that will make birds regret stopping at your garden. However, bird-repellent seeds germinate much slower, posing other challenges like the growth of weeds.
Hungry birds can definitely overcome the aversion to the bird-repellent. In this case, they will still feed on your precious grass. However, the amount of seed eaten will be reduced.
7. Hang up visual deterrents
Visual deterrents are an effective scare tactic. Examples include pinwheels, aluminum pans, and old Compact Discs.
Pinwheels can be used to scare away birds. They reflect light, which frightens seed eater. They also make noise when they move, which is a clever way of preventing birds from eating grass seed.
● Aluminum tin pans
Aluminum tin pie pans clang together when blown by the wind and smack against the post. As visual deterrents, they shine when they catch the sun. This scares birds away from your garden.
● Old Compact Discs or DVDs
Another option of deterring birds is by using old CDs or DVDs. Although they do not make much noise, they are good when it comes to reflecting the sun. This is enough to scare birds away.
● Shiny helium balloons
Birds can not stand balloons; hence the presence of balloons will keep birds eating grass seed. Shiny helium balloons can be anchored with rocks or tied to posts.
Other visual deterrents that you can use to scare away birds are colored flags and toy windmills.
8. Make mylar tape flutter
Mylar tape is one of the many ways to startle and scare birds. It is a metallic tape that moves freely in the wind. It reflects the sun’s rays as it moves in the breeze, causing it to sparkle and flash. The blinding reflection scares the birds away.
How to put mylar tape into action
- Place three feet tall posts around the edges of your grass seeds
- Space the posts about 6 feet around the area
- Tie the mylar tape loosely between the poles so that it crosses over the seedbed. Criss cross technique works best. Make sure you don’t tie it too tight because it won’t be able to move well in the breeze.
9. Try the whirlybird repeller
Trying multiple scaring tactics can be the answer to your seed eaters problem. The whirlybird repeller does the job and does it pretty well! It combines several birds of scaring techniques within one device. Its design resembles that of a peregrine falcon. On seeing it, birds get scared as it mimics their natural predator.
The whirlybird repeller works as a visual deterrent, noise deterrent, and fake predator. The device wobbles, vibrate, spins, and clacks in the breeze. As a visual bird deterrent, it reflects sunlight. All it does is done in a randomized pattern. Therefore, your local birds will not get used to it, which saves your grass seed from the hungry flock.
To set up the whirlybird repeller, mount it six to eight inches above the ground. It works well in an area with a prevailing breeze.
10. Draw the birds to a different part of your garden
Diverging the birds’ attention from your newly planted seed to something else is another tactic that you can use to prevent birds eating grass seed.
To lure birds to the opposite side of the garden is not rocket science. All you need to do is create a distraction that does that. Easy right? Distractions like bird feeders and bird bathes can be used for this purpose.
● Bird feeders
Hang a bird feeder on a post or tree to keep it filled with seeds. Birds will get used to the food being in that area and will not eat your grass seeds. Bird feeders must be placed away from the seeds.
Setting up a birdbath is a useful distraction that will do the magic of luring your birds away from your garden.
You can also make birdhouses or nests so that the birds can stay away from your garden. In other words, using a birdhouse is a way of luring the flock away from your sprouts.
Offer birds alternative food
Birds eat grass. It is a fact! However, you can offer them something else to eat so that they don’t eat your seed. Birds are hungry, you offer them food and protect your grass. It is a win-win situation!
However, offering alternative food to birds is debatable as other sources say offering your local birds food will attract them even more to your yard. Ultimately, your seed will become even more vulnerable to birds.
Sowing extra seeds
Sowing extra seeds are also a good option as birds will eat some seed and leave the rest. You can plant twice as many seeds as you need, and whatever remains will probably grow into a lot of grass.
Be physically there to chase birds away
You can also use to protect your vulnerable seed from birds by being there to shoo the birds away. However, this option is not realistic.
It is said there are so many ways of killing a cat. You don’t have to worry about birds destroying your sprouts. Why curse the darkness when you can light a candle? Just choose from the tactics as mentioned above on how to prevent birds from eating grass seed. If you implement the tricks, your seed will grow into a full, lustrous lawn.