Will Birds Dig Down To Find My Seeds?

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Will Birds Dig Down To Find My Seeds?

Postby abrogard » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:04 am

Excuse my ignorance, folks, but I'm very much a beginner. How wary of birds must I be? I've just planted chinese cabbage seeds, tiny little things as I suppose everyone knows, half an inch deep, in the front of our place.

For some reason there's always birds out the front where there's not out the back.

In the past they've chomped on my seedlings and I put up bird netting until they got bigger. That worked alright.

But now I look out the window and see dozens of the little buggers all over the place, on the beds and elsewhere. They don't seem to scratch around like chickens, digging up things, and I don't see signs of that in the beds, but I wonder - will they somehow detect those tiny seeds and gobble them up from half inch down? Leave me waiting like a dill for things to come up that have already gone down?

Should I put some protection over them now?
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Re: Will Birds Dig Down To Find My Seeds?

Postby Coustralee » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:33 am

ive seen peoiple make a tunnel with a bit of wire mesh folded over, and maybe some kind of covering. they say the birds wont go inside, i've never bothered though
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Re: Will Birds Dig Down To Find My Seeds?

Postby abrogard » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:46 am

I might do that. See what happens, anything comes up or not and if nothing comes up instead of thinking, as I usually do, that it is just a seed failure, fault of my planting technique or something, I'll assume it was the birds and reseed with that kind of protection...
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Re: Will Birds Dig Down To Find My Seeds?

Postby betr2garden » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:50 pm

I've never had any real trouble with birds in the garden, but my Mum had a colony of 'Indian Mynah' birds (an introduced pest) nesting in her garage. They didn't dig for seeds but pulled up every seedling, every cutting. I don't know that Indian Mynahs are around much in SA, yet.

If you have colony type birds, they are probably nesting on or near your property and are happy to stay. Using Mynahs as an example, you can drive down a street and ONE house has a front yard full of them. They are on the fence, on the roof, everywhere (like something out of Alfred Hitchcock's movie The Birds). No other houses have any.

I have had Mynahs try to set up shop, but they are a little silly. One year a pair filled our boat motor with twigs - what were they going to do? Fill it and then lay an egg? Another pair built a nest in the roller door on the back garage - never had a hope. They are always filling the gutter up with nest, but usually over the downpipe. I just keep getting up there with a pair of long tongs and cleaning it out. I used to put dry food out for the dog when I was at work; it's like an open invitation. Now I just leave a treat toy so there isn't any left laying around. I think the dog chasing them off helps, too. So far, they visit but they don't bring their friends and family. I have no problem with them eating a few caterpillars or grubs and would probably survive one or two birds finding my seedlings tasty, but not a whole flock.
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Re: Will Birds Dig Down To Find My Seeds?

Postby abrogard » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:25 pm

As a matter of fact...... They All Came Up!!!

And now I've got Chinese Cabbage seedlings all over the place...

So birds - or my local birds anyway - are exonerated.

But my son, who reads any scientific snippet he can find and remembers everything, tells me of some bird that can smell an earthworm 4 inches beneath the surface or somesuch.... But I suppose they'd be a damn sight smellier than a seed...

:)
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Re: Will Birds Dig Down To Find My Seeds?

Postby betr2garden » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:32 pm

Abrogard,
So pleased for you. Do you need recipes for Chinese Cabbage now? Glad you can enjoy the birds and the vegies. 8)
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Re: Will Birds Dig Down To Find My Seeds?

Postby abrogard » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:41 am

No, thanks, or maybe yes, I don't know - my wife is Chinese, probably got a bagfull of ideas of what to do with the Cabbage - if I ever get it grown that is, there's many a slip 'twixt seedling and harvest....

I've got something chomping through the leaves of my young plants.... snail and slug killer doesn't reap much of a harvest so I don't think it's them...

bird netting didn't seem to stop it so I don't think it's birds...

yeast/oil/honey earwig trip didn't catch many so I don't think it's them...

dusted with a tomato/vegetable dust the other day hoping that might do something.

I have seen only one caterpillar but for some reason I strongly suspect caterpillars. A phobia maybe.

Whatever it is leaves a straight line across the leaf. It'll cut out a section of varying shapes - small triangles like bird's beak attacks one imagines - or chop half the leaf away leaving a dead straight edge - and munch the whole green part of the leaf away leaving only the spines (?) or whatever they're called...

Any clues on this gratefully received..

:)
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Re: Will Birds Dig Down To Find My Seeds?

Postby Cosmic » Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:32 pm

Earwigs will do this.
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Re: Will Birds Dig Down To Find My Seeds?

Postby abrogard » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:05 am

Thanks for that. In another recent thread I'm chasing pest again and I've found this old thread. I think you were right then and right now.

:)
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