A few years ago I had a small crop of apricots ready for harvest, not a small accomplishment for the Colorado high country. I dutifully checked the progress of the six or seven apricots that were ripening well. I think my mistake was to say aloud, to no one but nature and me, "Tomorrow they'll be perfect for picking." That next day, with harvest bowl in hand, I set out in the morning to claim my reward. Imagine the horror when I encountered only three fruit remaining and all of those with wide holes pecked through, the rest on the ground in pieces. Through whatever subterfuge and espionage network they possessed, the birds attacked in the early hours of the day.
|The victim before the attack|
After the remnants of that catastrophe were placed to rest on the compost pile, it was time to water and weed the rest of the garden. In another section I had a single jalapeno pepper valiantly fighting for life on a plant that had been eviscerated by hail early in the season. I carefully moved to check on him because he too was approaching his prime. Alas, all that remained of that stalwart warrior was the helmet that once had connected him to his mother. His body was gone!
I love birds in the garden normally. We have hummingbird feeders and many flowers designed to attract those beautiful flitting birds. We have a couple hanging socks with miniscule seeds for the yellow-breasted finches. I even hang peanuts for the blue jays. Though the many magpies are at the very bottom of my list of favorites, we even put out a dish of seeds we know they'll attack. You'd think with all that charity, they'd leave my tomatoes and peppers alone.
Of course I know better than that. I have bird netting and plans for deploying it over my plants, but there always seems to be another gardening chore that seems a little more important. There's always tomorrow. But be warned... they're out there and they're watching and waiting and somehow they know when the time is perfect for an attack. If you want to be victorious you'll need to be smart... or at least smarter than a bird.