Allotment Bird Scarers

Not the best photograph in the world, but you can see the problem. At this time of year, when food is scarce, the disgruntled allotment-holder finds him or herself fighting with birds.

Now the crow, bless him, is really not the problem. He turns up from time to time and will hop down ponderously to snaffle a bit of bacon sandwich, but really he’s not that interested in pecking our broad beans, that’s the pigeons.

And this is the scaraweb!

I ‘scored’ this off freecycle at the end of last year, and while it looks like a crash-landing by Santa, it does seem to be working – also, it’s biodegradable.

The problem with any bird scarer is that birds soon get used to it. You can try:

• Toy snakes (should be more than two feet long)
• Toy cats
• CDs on strings
• Bottles on canes
• Bunting
• Windmills
• Plastic shopping bags tied to string

But any and all of these only work because the birds are surprised and uncertain. As soon as they get used to the whatever-it-is then they’ll be back, pecking the tops out of beans and peas and taking the sprouts off Brussels. So what you have to do, apparently, is change your bird scarer system every couple of days so that there’s a constant novelty to the process. I assume this means that by the end of the week your resident birds will have forgotten what they saw on your plot at the beginning of the week, so they have a longer memory than goldfish, but not by much. Our fellow allotment-holders have a plethora of devices, so I’m going to photograph them and share them with you over the weeks ahead …

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Blogger Z said...

I've always had to net anything newly planted and most seeds sown to keep off the pigeons. Last year, I had trouble with rabbits two and had no runner beans at all, although I sowed twice.

January 9, 2009 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger Z said...

too. Two? sorry.

January 9, 2009 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Ooh, pigeons and beans, don't get me started. Mind you, we're lucky if enough seeds escape the mice to get attacked by pigeons. have you thought about a raised bed (possibly with spikes on?)

January 13, 2009 at 8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scaraweb works fine for me against the bullfinches. But it's not available any more. Henry Doubleday have stopped stocking - they say the makers won't supply as their order's too small. Anyone know of another source? [tried a freecycle post].

March 15, 2010 at 7:38 AM  

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