Bird nest in hanging basket

How to Keep Birds Out of Hanging Ferns

Birds in your fern basket can kill off the ferns over time and they can also create a mess below the basket with feces, food remnants, debris from the nest and shed feathers. Preventing the birds from nesting in the first place is far easier than removing the birds once they have appeared.

  1. Stick a children’s pinwheel in the hanging basket beside the ferns. The motion of the pinwheel startles the birds away. Choose a pinwheel with shiny arms so that the flashing light further disturbs the bird.

  2. Cut long strips of shiny Mylar material and tape them to the bottom of the basket. The shiny strips flutter in the wind, preventing the birds from settling.

  3. Drape the top of the basket with bird mesh, hanging it from the same hook that you hang the fern basket. Bird mesh is a fine mesh that allows for normal watering and sun exposure, but which keeps birds from being able to enter the basket.

  4. Slide bamboo skewers into the soil in the fern’s hanging basket, allowing the sharp ends to stick up. This prevents the birds from wanting to land.

Things You Will Need


  • Pinwheel
  • Mylar strips
  • Tape
  • Bird mesh
  • Bamboo skewers


Be aware of what birds may be moved or disturbed when they are nesting. House sparrows, European starlings and pigeons are all unprotected birds and may be removed. Robins, finches and cardinals are all protected and require a permit before you can disturb them. Switch around the methods that you use from time to time, as otherwise the birds will become used to them and less afraid.

Hanging Plant With Birds: What To Do For Birds In Hanging Baskets

Hanging planters not only enhance your property but provide attractive nesting sites for birds. Bird proofing hanging baskets will prevent overly protective feathered parents from dive bombing you. It also allays concerns about damaging eggs or babies when you water or maintain your containers. Try a few of the suggestions in this article for Aves friendly gardening.

Most gardeners welcome birds and even create havens for their flying friends. However, in some cases, the little guys decide to nest in hanging baskets and other containers. It is easy to see why they find such sites attractive, with their leafy protection from predators and weather. You have a couple of choices if the birds become a nuisance or you are worried about damaging the nests.

Bird Proofing Hanging Baskets

The first line of defense is prevention. Here are some steps you can take to prevent birds from taking up residence in your potted plants:

  • Provide plenty of other nesting sites in your garden. Erect birdhouses and nesting boxes.
  • At planting, lay light wire mesh over the basket or container, so birds can’t get in to build nests.
  • Use fake predators to discourage them from your planting zone. These might include rubber snakes or a fake owl.
  • Set streamers along the edges of your home or where you hang baskets. This will prevent birds nesting in hanging baskets by scaring them to a more appropriate zone.

Too Late! I Have a Bird Nesting in My Hanging Basket

Even with some prevention, you can find yourself in the possession of birds nesting in hanging plants. Contrary to some early research, you can move a nest and the parents will still take care of it, provided you don’t move it where they cannot find it.

Place a similar hanging basket lined with coir or moss next to the original and move the nest into the new place. If you have a hanging plant with birds, this simple eviction will usually do the trick. As a preemptive step, hang the basket every year when you hang your others.

If you have tried everything to prevent birds in hanging baskets, try some serious warfare. Erect small bamboo skewers in the plant to keep out the animals. It certainly won’t hurt them but there won’t be a flat surface in which to build a nest.

Another idea to inhibit birds in hanging baskets is to place a couple of citrus oil soaked cotton balls in the nest. The citrus scent may repel them.

Overall, the best idea is to enjoy having wildlife that up close and personal. Be careful when watering if you have a hanging plant with birds. Use a light spray or hand water around the babies. Once the young birds have flown the nest, remove it to prevent it becoming a nesting site for bugs.

The sound of chirping birds is a telltale sign of summer days. It’s the background to family barbecues, late night bonfires, all day pool parties and early morning coffees in the garden. While the singing can trigger sunny memories, if these birds take claim to your patio, the summer nostalgia can quickly wear off. Waking up to morning chirping and constantly cleaning up bird droppings can change your feelings on these feathered friends.

To keep your home clean and quiet—and to maintain your appreciation for these creatures—we recommend trying some of these simple tricks to keep birds away from your patio, porch or deck.

Block Spaces That Are Ideal for Nesting

Openings and holes in walls, ceiling rafters, gutters and other tight, cozy spaces are ideal real-estate for nesting birds. You can block off rafters and other perching areas using bird nesting. Small openings in your wall or other areas can be stuffed with copper scouring pads, which will stay in place and won’t splinter or rust.

Hang a Few Wind Chimes

Not only are wind chimes beautiful to listen to on those slightly windy summer days, but the noise and movement are an excellent way to scare off birds and keep them from landing on your deck or patio. You can also look for other shiny, noisy and moving porch décor to help keep the birds at bay.

Take A Moment To Reflect

Birds are sensitive to bright, reflective colors and will typically avoid any place that has it. To take advantage of this, and keep your deck a bird free zone, attach reflective flash tape to strings and secure it around your porch. You can also secure small mirrors to popular nesting areas, which will trick the birds into thinking the space is already claimed.

Get A Decoy

Placing a statute of a hawk, swan or other large predator bird is an easy way to scare off smaller birds from coming into your yard. Be sure to rotate your plastic predator, or the birds will catch on to your tricks and your feathered scarecrow will become useless.

Move Your Birdbath and Feeders

You can’t really blame a bird for choosing a home close to food and water. Moving feeders and bird baths further away from your porch, patio and deck will allow you to invite these beautiful, unique creatures into your yard, while discouraging them from staying overnight.

Use a Safe & Effective Professional Bird Repellent

If you don’t feel like spending your summer days experimenting with various, possibly ineffective tricks and would rather spend those precious moments enjoying the extra warmth and sunshine, consider using professional bird repellent that offers virtually instantaneous results.

At Avian Enterprises, we’ve developed the perfect formula that effectively drives away a wide-variety of nuisance birds without causing any harm to them, you or your family. Treatment options include:

  • Avian Fog Force™ TR, a time release aerosol system that targets a variety of common flocking birds.
  • Avian Control® liquid spray or fog treatment designed to deter robins, crows, pigeons and other variety of birds.
  • Avian Migrate™ liquid spray treatment that is specialized for migratory birds such as Geese, Mute Swans, Coots and other small birds.

Don’t spend your summer chasing birds. Explore Avian’s bird repellent products and get back to what really matters.

Three Ways to Keep Birds Away From the Patio, Porch and DeckTake your outdoor living space back from the birds. Brand: Avian Enterprises Three Ways to Keep Birds Away From the Patio, Porch and Deck

DEAR JOAN: I am at my wits’ end. I have a wooden potting table that I put on my covered deck in the winter months. It has individual succulents on the small shelf.

I have been doing that for years, but this winter, birds are pooping all over the table and plants.

I bought a big, scary owl with big yellow eyes, but the dirty birds land on the owl’s head and poop there and all over the plants. I have covered the whole table with bright pink plastic, but they still make a mess. I have put bright blue tape on the window behind the table, but they are not scared of anything.

I clean up after them every day. Yuck! Do you have a remedy? After the rain, I will move the potting table back to the patio but what about now?

Gail Fitzgerald, Clayton

DEAR GAIL: Well, you know how the song goes. “Fish got to swim and birds got to poop.” Or something along those lines.

The best way to keep them from singing that song all over your potting table is to discourage them from coming into your yard. So, if you’ve got bird feeders up, take them down, and empty birdbaths and fountains.

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You also can remove shrubs and prune back trees that are near the patio, removing potential perching, nesting and hiding spots. Be especially careful when pruning, however. You might already have birds and squirrels nesting in those areas and you don’t want to destroy their nests and eggs, or in the case of the squirrels, harm newborns. And no, it’s not too early to find young squirrels in nests. Lindsay Wildlife Experience in Walnut Creek already has a few baby squirrels that were knocked from their nests by pruners.

Forget the plastic owls and colorful covers. Movement is the key to keeping birds away. Hang some streamers or shiny balloons on and around the patio. They will float, bob and flutter in the wind, and the birds won’t know what to make of them so they’ll keep their distance.

DEAR JOAN: We have barn swallows that build a nest on our front porch every year. Should we tear down the nest once they fly the coop? Or just leave it up so they can use it again this year? Not sure what’s best for the birds.

Paul Mangini, Bay Area

DEAR PAUL: There usually is no need to take down the nests. The swallows spend a lot of time and effort to construct those adobe abodes and they often reuse them for several years.

If you like having the birds there, then leave the nest. They might still return and build a new home, but keeping the nest there is a good way to improve the odds of them coming back.

The swallows will remove old grass and feathers that were used to line the nest, and bring in new material along with fresh mud to patch the old place up. If you notice a nest that goes empty, then after the mating season, you can remove it.

Many years ago, the swallows nested in caves, but as humans moved in and built up, the birds began using human-made structures, most notably barns, which is how we gave them their name. There is some evidence that the swallows like nesting close to humans because we keep other birds, such as crows, from preying on them.

Keep Birds Away From Porches & Patios

Have birds turned your porch or patio into their stomping grounds? Is your deck a feathered mess—or worse? If you have to watch where you step, check before you sit, or simply feel like you’re constantly cleaning up bird droppings and debris, it’s time to try a new method of repelling nuisance birds. Keep the birds away from your porch or patio with the WhirlyBird Repeller!

How Does It Work?

Have you tried other bird prevention devices in the past? If so, you may be resistant to try another. That’s because many products rely on a single method to keep birds away—yet birds can quickly adapt and figure out the tricks we use to scare them. The WhirlyBird Repeller is different. It combines multiple scare tactics into a single device, helping to prevent birds from adapting to it:

  • Size and appearance of the peregrine falcon, a natural predator
  • Bright yellow eyes that face intruders from all directions horizontally
  • Reflective tape and body to disorient birds
  • Produces random movement, light reflections, vibrations and sound

Because the WhirlyBird rotates, wobbles, clacks and reflects light in a continually changing manner, birds have a hard time getting acclimated to it.

Benefits Of The WhirlyBird Repeller

Whether you’ve built it yourself or saved up to finance a renovation, you’ve probably invested a lot in your deck or patio. Luckily, you won’t have to invest as much to keep the birds away. When it comes to at-home bird deterrents, the WhirlyBird Repeller is a no brainer. Here are just a few of its benefits:

  • Affordable & Durable. Featuring UV resistant polycarbonate plastic, the WhirlyBird Repeller is build to last.
  • Easy To Install: Simply hang or mount the device high above the area you wish to protect. Feel free to contact us for tips on where best to mount it on your property.
  • Wind Powered. This device is naturally powered by the wind. There’s no need to run electricity to it.
  • Humane. This device deters birds without harming them.

Mounting Your WhirlyBird

Please keep in mind that the WhirlyBird Repeller needs to be mounted in the open where it will be exposed to wind and sunlight. It works best as a preventative measure, so we highly recommend that it be installed BEFORE the birds arrive. If the birds have already arrived and are feeding, perching, and/or nesting on or near your porch or patio, additional measures may be necessary, such as stringing monofilament fishing line across the birds’ flight paths and/or installing a sonic device that broadcasts the sound of a bird of prey.

All of these additional measures are intended to reinforce to the birds that the WhirlyBird means business! If you find yourself in the middle of a particularly sticky problem, we’re happy to help you troubleshoot. If you’re in need of a durable, humane, and effective bird deterrent for your porch or patio, the WhirlyBird Repeller may be the right solution for you.

Bye Bye Birdie

Reclaim your porch or patio. Order the WhirlyBird Repeller today!

How to Take Care of Flowers in a Hanging Basket

Gazebo and Hanging Baskets in an English Back garden image by Chris Lofty from

There is just something appealing about having bright, colorful hanging baskets that are full of flowering plants as part of your outside decor. Hanging baskets require a little different care than the flowers you grow in your garden. Giving your flowering hanging baskets the proper attention can keep them blooming continuously throughout the warm weather months.

Match the flowering plants in your hanging basket to the environment where they will hang. In other words, if you plan to hang your basket on the north side of your home, or in partial shade, select plants for your basket that will grow well in partial shade, like fuchsias, impatiens or begonias. Sun-loving flowering plants that are popular for hanging baskets are geraniums and petunias, among others.

Water your hanging baskets daily, thoroughly. Hanging baskets, like container plants, tend to dry out much faster than plants in the ground because the soil is exposed more to the heat of the day. You will need to water your hanging baskets every day and probably twice a day when the temperatures are really hot, such as in the 90-plus degree (Fahrenheit) range.

Water your hanging baskets until water runs out of the drain hole in the bottom to ensure you have moistened the entire basket. If you have a catch sauce under your basket, leave it full of water for about 10 minutes after watering, then dump the excess water.

Fertilize your hanging baskets with a liquid fertilizer that is a 1:2:1 ratio mix, like 10-20-10. The 20 indicates the percentage of phosphorous, which will promote your plant’s producing continuous flowers. You should feed your hanging baskets every week or two to keep the flowering plants healthy and growing with flowers. Hanging baskets, like containers, lose a lot of the vital and needed nutrients in the soil because frequent watering washes away and removes nutrients with no way for the plants to acquire additional nutrition from surrounding soil. Therefore, for healthy, thriving plants in your hanging basket, you must continue to feed them.

Clip dead flowers from your flowering hanging plants to encourage them to continue flowering instead of creating seed pods. You may also pinch or clip back new growth if you want fuller, bushier foliage in your hanging baskets.

BONNIE’S GARDEN – How to Keep Birds OUT of Hanging Baskets

By Bonnie Pega Bonnie’s Garden

We got in some beautiful Dragon Wing begonia hanging baskets and I bought one and hung it by the front door last week. Two days later, as I was walking in the door from work. I saw a few bits of debris on the ground. I sighed, knowing what I was going to find—the beginnings of a bird’s nest.

I’ve been through this before—many times before. From personal experience, I’ll tell you to never make the mistake of thinking it’ll be cute to watch the baby birds grow. Yeah, it’s really cute to clean bird poop from the side of the house/front door/sidewalk. And it is even cuter to try to water a hanging basket with baby birds in it.

You can buy professional bird repellents online—I saw one for $96.00 for a ½ gallon—and that didn’t count the hose adapter you had to buy. Yeah, right.

However, from years of experience, I’ve found some FAR less expensive ways to deal with it:

  1. Clean out nesting materials as soon as you find them. Sometimes the birds realize this might not be a good place to nest and move on. Sometimes….
  2. Stick toothpicks or plastic forks in the soil—this makes it hard for a bird to find a place to situate a nest.
  3. Provide birdhouses in appropriate locations—for more information check out the National Wildlife Federation at
  4. Saturate a few cotton balls with peppermint oil and place in the pot. Birds tend to avoid really strong scents.
  5. Use a fake predator. You can find statues of owls, for example. We have some here, as a matter of fact, with heads that move.

Me, well, I go for the rubber snake I got at a dollar store. When using a fake snake, move it a little every couple of days so birds don’t get “used” to it.

And the next time the family practical jokester comes to visit, ask them to check the plant for water….

This happens to me almost every year.
They are house finches. You will see two adult birds guarding the nest. One will be brown all over, the other will have a reddish chest. The red one is the male, the browner one is female. They take turns watching over the nest, keeping the eggs warm, and once the babies are hatched, getting food. They are dedicated parents, and if anyone (human or animal) comes near they will fly to a close-by spot to watch and warn with loud chirps. (They will try to attack and chase off other birds, but will leave you alone.)
It is important to make sure the plant doesn’t die because they are obviously using it for protection. You have to figure that if the nest were in a tree, it would get rained on, but it would drain out. So you can water the plant VERY gently. What I generally do is get a step stool rather than take the plant down. Then pour water into the side and watch very carefully that it doesn’t flood the nest. If you can, try to do it about the same time every day or few days, and the parents should get reasonably used to you doing it. They won’t like it, and they will tell you so. Loudly. But it will be okay as long as you are very careful.
Once the eggs hatch, it will be about 10-14 days until the baby birds are ready to fly. You will hear lots of loud peeping out of your plant several times a day.
Also after they hatch, things will start to get messy in there. Little birds don’t poop inside the nest — they back themselves up to the edge and do their business over it. So expect a good amount of waste in there after about 2 weeks. Be forewarned, depending on the plant, this may or may not be a healthy thing for it. Once the babies have fledged, you may have some housekeeping to do if you want to keep the plant.
Here’s some pics of the brood I hosted last year in my impatiens. They were so much fun to watch! On the day after I took the last pic, I went outside to water and WOOSH — four little birdies burst out of the plant and flew to the roof of the house across the street. I was so proud of them!
Brand new:

Feed me!

Getting some feathers:

Eyes are open!

Almost ready to fly:

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