- How to Get Rid Of Crows
- Are there grass or fiber eating birds?
- How to Stop Birds Eating Grass Seed
- Prevent Birds Eating Grass Seed
- 5 Practical Ways to Keep Birds from Eating Grass Seeds
- How to Keep Birds from Eating Grass Seeds
- Bird Damage To Lawns – Why Are Birds Digging Up My Lawn
- Why are Birds Digging up my Lawn?
- How to Keep Birds from Digging up Lawn
- BlogWhy Are There Still Birds in My Yard?
- Why haven’t these birds migrated?
- How are birds surviving winter?
- What do they want?
- Are they a problem?
- What should I do about them?
- Why do we keep finding dead birds in the yard? 🙁
- White Ibis – Eudocimus albus
- Why feathered friends flock to my lawn
- National Science Foundation – Where Discoveries Begin
- Feeding birds in your local park? If they’re white ibises in Florida, think twice
How to Get Rid Of Crows
- Make the yard less attractive to the crows by cleaning it well. Do not have any bits of food or garbage lying around. With nothing readily available to eat, the crows are less likely to invade your yard.
- Scare away the crows. The most traditional way of scaring off unwanted birds, such as crows, is to build a scarecrow. Use a bamboo pole stake and old clothes that will flap in the wind.
- Hang a plastic owl in your yard. Although this will have some effect, the crows will soon get wise to the fact that it’s fake .
- Hang up something shiny across your yard. Crows dislike anything shiny . Many people repel crows by hanging several CDs on a string across the yard.
- Hang up shiny aluminum plates. This will work the same way as the CDs, and if they are hung up close enough together to make a noise, that’s even better.
- Play CDs of sounds of the predators of crows to frighten off the crows.
- Some people like shooting the birds. However you should check the legality of doing this first, as in some states crows are a protected species, which can only be killed in designated areas at certain times of the year .
Are there grass or fiber eating birds?
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How to Stop Birds Eating Grass Seed
Prevent Birds Eating Grass Seed
Grass seeds are a natural food for many birds such as sparrows, finches, blackbirds and starlings. Even though many grass seeds are coated with bird repellent, hungry birds can overcome the aversion to the bird repellent and feed on the seed.
These are some methods that can help prevent birds from feeding on the grass seed and ensure your newly sown grass has the chance to germinate.
- Always use seed that has bird repellent. LawnPro Smart Seed and other LawnPro products containing grass seed have bird repellent coatings. Although birds can overcome the aversion to repellents, they do reduce the amount of seed taken, if any.
- Provide other food for the birds. If you give the birds alternative food such as at bird feeders, they will prefer that to the repellent seed. It is best to site the alternative food well away from the lawn.
- Use visual and sound repellent devices. Bird scare tape fluttering from canes stuck in the lawn can be enough to deter birds for the 7-10 days needed to allow the seed to germinate. Alternatives include, plastic shopping bags or old CDs/DVDs hung from the canes. Fake predators and balloons are available that will deter birds for a week or two. Wind chimes and other noise-making devices may also have a deterrent effect for long enough for germination.
- Cover the seed with fine netting that allows light and water to get to the seed but excludes birds.
5 Practical Ways to Keep Birds from Eating Grass Seeds
Most people plant grass on their lawns or sidewalks because it offers a cheap yet effective aesthetic solution but find it hard to keep birds from eating grass seeds. Planting grass isn’t an easy task, because grass seeds are always a delicacy for many bird species. In most cases, you end up watering your lawn for days hoping that your yard will soon be dotted with grass seedlings germinating, only to be frustrated by birds. However, worry not, if you’ve been a victim of this before or are planning to plant grass, here is an insightful guide on how to keep birds from eating your grass seeds.
How to Keep Birds from Eating Grass Seeds
Mulching the freshly planted area with hay, straw or even wood shavings will keep the grass seeds safe from the birds until they sprout. Aside from protecting the seeds, mulching does offer a tonne of other benefits to your lawn or garden. That is why it is a common gardening practice. However, once the seedlings germinate, you’ll have to remove the mulch material so that they can get adequate sunlight necessary for their growth.
One thing though, mulching won’t be helpful enough if you rear chicken or any other type of birds that like dirt bathing.
Scarecrows and Bird Deterrents
Seed-eating birds are always scared of non-familiar objects hovering above them or stuck within close vicinity. You can take advantage of this and set up bird deterrents over the area where you’ve planted your grass seeds.
Pro tip! Ensure that you regularly -after a day or two- switch up the positions of your deterrents. This will always help keep the bird suspicious, scared, and will keep them from eating the grass seeds. Below are some examples of bird deterrents you can shop for.
Aluminum Pans or Old Compact Discs
Birds don’t like objects that shine too much. Additionally, the pans will also make rattling sounds when blown by wind scaring the birds away. Besides, you can also use compact discs to scare the birds since they too reflect a good amount of light.
You can purchase these balloons and fasten them on posts within your lawn. Birds and balloons aren’t the best of mates, and your guess is as good as mine, they will be scared away.
Bird Repellent Seeds
What drives birds to eat grass seed is because they taste delicious. Usually, the bird repellent seeds are coated with a unique substance that alters its original taste meaning the birds won’t like it. Instead of going for the regular grass seed try the bird repellent type.
Get Dummy Predators
Birds don’t like being in areas where predators are present, hence a good way to keep birds from eating grass seeds. In this case, you can get rubber snakes or get a fake hawk and perch it up on within the lawn. There are many different types of deterrents and dummies available in the markets that you can use to scare the birds.
However, remember that birds are intelligent animals and if you don’t switch the predator’s positions’ they will soon realize that they are dummies.
Like the deterrents and scarecrows, make sure you change the positions regularly.
Burlap sheets are an excellent alternative to common mulching material. Normally, burlap sheets will allow sunlight and water to pass through to the seeds/seedlings, boosting their growth. Additionally, mulching materials such as straw can be blown away leaving the seeds exposed. However, burlap sheets cannot be carried away by wind meaning your seeds and later seedlings will always be protected.
Birds do love grass seeds and you’ll need to be at the top of your game to protect your newly planted lawn. Additionally, the period needed for your grass seedlings to grow may vary depending on factors such as weather, grass species, and soil fertility levels.
Bird Damage To Lawns – Why Are Birds Digging Up My Lawn
Most of us love having backyard birds to watch and to feed. The music of songbirds is a sure sign of spring. On the other hand, bird damage to lawns can be extensive. If you’re finding small holes in your grass and you see a lot of birds around, the damage is probably caused by birds foraging for food. There are some ways you can keep birds from digging up lawn and grass. Read on to learn more.
Why are Birds Digging up my Lawn?
It’s not hard to identify bird damage to lawns. If you see a lot of birds in your yard and you find small, about one-inch (2.5-cm.) holes in the turf, it’s most likely bird-related damage. What are birds digging for in your lawn? The phenomenon of birds digging holes in lawns has an easy explanation: food.
They’re looking for tasty snacks, so if you’re seeing a lot of bird damage, it means you have an insect problem. Basically, your lawn is the best restaurant around because it has so many bugs. Birds are simply foraging for grubs, worms, and insects. The good news about this is that the grubs and insects will actually do more damage to your lawn than the birds will, and the birds are helping you control the population.
How to Keep Birds from Digging up Lawn
If you want to avoid the bird damage of small holes all over your lawn, you have to get rid of the insect pests.
To get rid of your bug problem, invest in a pesticide, preferably something natural. You can either have it applied by a professional lawn company or you can do it yourself. It is important to time the application. If you have grubs, for instance, you need to apply in late spring or early summer.
It’s also important to time application to avoid harming the birds. Apply the pesticide in late afternoon so it will be dry by the next morning when the birds reappear to search for breakfast.
If you prefer not to have birds at all around your property, there is little you can do but you can try using a few scare tactics that may keep the birds away.
BlogWhy Are There Still Birds in My Yard?
The first time you saw a bird perched on a snowy branch this season, you were probably surprised. While many birds migrate to warmer climates in winter, however, there are quite a few that won’t. Some stick around to tough out the cold with the rest of us.
As you probably expect, it isn’t easy for a bird to survive cold winters, no matter how much they’ve adapted. Non-migratory birds have to work hard to stay warm and get enough food to survive until spring. In the process of these survival attempts, they may occasionally make trouble for you. Here’s what you should know about the bird hanging around you this winter:
Why haven’t these birds migrated?
Contrary to popular belief, there are quite a few birds that never migrate. In fact, there are even some birds that migrate south to you to avoid even colder winters. Robins, some woodpeckers, owls, chickadees, titmice, blue jays, song sparrows, cardinals, and even common hummingbirds may all stick around all year long.
Bird migration is a kind of evolutionary risk-benefit analysis. Birds have to weigh the energy and danger inherent in migrating against the likelihood that they can survive where they are over winter. For some, the temperature and food scarcity of winter makes survival impossible; they migrate. For others, winter survival is actually more feasible than migration.
How are birds surviving winter?
Non-migratory birds have to get creative to survive winter temperatures, and they do so in some fascinating ways. Some birds change their food preferences, learning to get by with less… appealing choices. Instead of eating insects, worms, or berries, they’ll sustain themselves on twigs, stalks, nuts, or garbage. Others will cache food like squirrels or chipmunks.
Believe it or not, some actually cooperate with each other to survive winter. Bird flocks (even of different species!) will huddle together to keep warm. Sometimes a flock will even forage as a group, letting others know when they’ve found a food source. You may have even seen this signaling happen if you have a bird feeder!
What do they want?
Like most wildlife that wanders near your home in winter, a bird is looking for two things: food and shelter. Many non-migratory birds have heavy winter plumage to help them withstand temperatures, but they still need places to rest that are out of the wind. They may build “winter” nests by collecting more nesting material than usual to insulate themselves from the cold. They usually build these nests into existing cover, which may bring them closer to your home.
Even more than cover, however, most birds are looking for food sources. Food is scarce in winter, even for the non-migratory types that have adapted to finding it. Birds have to take what they can get, even if that means foraging from nearby houses or eating garbage. If you have bushes, berries, or a birdfeeder in your yard, expect to find birds literally flocking to it.
Are they a problem?
Not necessarily. Birds aren’t generally very territorial and won’t attack you. You shouldn’t be worried to see them spending time on or around your home. The only time a bird could become a problem is if entire flocks nest on your home at once. Unfortunately, too many non-migratory birds can inflict the same troubles that regular birds can the rest of the year.
Bird waste is toxic and corrosive, and can eat away at paint and wood finish over time. Nesting birds may damage parts of your home for material or weigh down siding and gutters. Bird bi-products including feathers and waste may carry fleas or transmit diseases. Even more basically, some may keep you awake with fighting or songs.
What should I do about them?
Non-migratory birds flock to your home in search of food and shelter. If you want to keep them away, you have to make sure they can’t find either of those things. Pick up fallen nuts, berries, and other plant debris from your yard regularly. If you have plants, consider covering them with sheets. Tie your dumpster closed whenever you aren’t using it and try not to keep garbage outside.
It’s tough to keep birds from nesting near you entirely, but you can make your home less appealing. Block off likely places where they could nest such as alcoves, corners, nooks, and crannies. Make sure there aren’t any naturally hidden areas where birds could easily build nests. If they become a significant problem, you could always invest in bird deterrents like noise makers or spikes.
Non-migratory birds shouldn’t be something you have to worry about. In fact, they’re usually pleasant reminders that life goes on, even in the dead of winter. If you feel like helping our feathered friends, we recommend a bird feeder. You’d be surprised who will show up to help themselves, even on the coldest days of the year!
If, on the other hand, you got quite enough of birds this fall, give Varment Guard a call. We can safely, humanely, and effectively deter birds from your property this winter. They’ll still be out there flocking and surviving, but they’ll do it away from your home.
Why do we keep finding dead birds in the yard? 🙁
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White Ibis –
The white ibis wades in the water sweepings its head form side-to-side in search of food. It uses its long, curved bill to probe in the mud for crabs and crayfish. It swallows its prey whole. It also forages for food on land, and it may also eat insects, frogs, snails, marine worms, snakes, and small fish. Flocks of white ibis will move to different locations in search of food. Other wading birds often follow behind the white ibis and catch prey that has been disturbed by the probing ibis!
The white ibis breeds in large colonies that may include other wading birds. Males arrive at the breeding grounds first. The male preens and points its bill towards the sky to attract a mate. Both the male and female build the nest. The male brings sticks, reeds, leaves and other plant materials to the female who then constructs a platform nest in the crotch of a tree, in a shrub or sometimes on the ground. The female lays 2-5 eggs, and both the male and the female incubate them. The eggs hatch in about 21 days. Both parents feed the chicks regurgitated food. The chicks fledge when they are about six weeks old.
Why feathered friends flock to my lawn
There is a sigh of relief over south Florida: We are getting at least some of the rain we have been hoping for over the past six months.
After a rain ends, the roofs drip, the rumbling in the sky fades away, and sun rays lance through blue-gray scattered clouds. Birds arrive and relish the moments; street gutters are now small rivers for their drinks and baths. Lawns have transformed from the golden crisp of drought to being green and squishy.
Two young ibises wander about my sparse, wet lawn. There are small bare spots that new grass hasn’t filled in yet. The two white birds poke and wiggle their beaks in the moist, sandy soil.
Young ibises have an egret’s body, but have a pointed pink beak that curves down in a half-circle long enough to stir a glass of iced tea. They poke, prod, and gobble what they find, flicking aside surface debris. They are dedicated in their pursuit, making nickel-size holes in the yard.
My guess is they are after chinch bugs and mole crickets, which live underground and cause distress to anyone obsessed with having a picture-perfect lawn. Mr. and Mrs. Ibis like my yard, because for the past 23 years I’ve done nothing to the grass except cut it. No acids, alkalines, fertilizers, no insecticides of any kind. Lawn-care people are always after me to saturate the soil with chemicals, in order to obtain the movie-star-estate look.
But if I did that, the birds wouldn’t hang around.
Mourning doves amble pigeonlike over and around shoots of grass, gobbling tiny weed seeds. Blackbirds, with their fierce yellow eyes, often act scared. Yet they look at you with such arrogance, marching through freshly cut grass, flushing out baby butterflies or moths hiding from their purposeful swagger.
The birds avoid the lawn next to mine, where there is a lush green carpet of manicured St. Augustine grass. Well-heeled retirees with grand estates are fond of St. Augustine grass, but I’m not so inclined. It’s like walking on a foam-rubber mattress. I like feeling solid ground beneath my feet, and St. Augustine grass requires twice the water of ordinary bahia. Wading birds shun it, knowing there is some sort of foreign substance in the soil that’s good for grass but not good for them.
The grandest treat so far was waking at 6:30 in the morning and seeing two sandhill cranes out there in the front yard, three-foot-tall beige-colored birds with a bright patch of red over their eyes. They do the same as the ibises, poke and jab and wiggle their beaks in the bare patches of yard, looking for bugs.
Their beaks are shorter than the ibises’, so they have to prod more vigorously. Still, they obtain the same results and gobble their fill of whatever lives below. Soon I won’t have a mole cricket anywhere.
But all too quickly the neighborhood makes neighborhood noises: cars starting, doors banging, kids talking loudly and rebelliously. The sandhill cranes take to the sky.
Sandhill cranes make the most musical squawk when they are in flight. They never utter a sound when wandering about the yard, but, aloft, they fill the sky with a tuneful rambling chortle that can be heard a long way off.
But they, like the ibises, will remember my house, the peace, the quiet, the abundant food. They will be back when the neighborhood is sleepy and non-frantic.
I still get fliers from a turf company, announcing they will make my lawn the envy of the whole block. Nope, not for me. I have the birds. They come and go at will. The entertainment is satisfying, and it costs nothing. The feeling of country remains in suburbia.
National Science Foundation – Where Discoveries Begin
Feeding birds in your local park? If they’re white ibises in Florida, think twice
White ibises may transmit diseases like salmonellosis
White ibises congregate in flocks in urban parks, where they’re inappropriately fed by people.
- Credit and Larger Version
- View Additional Multimedia
February 3, 2016
Find related stories on the NSF, National Institutes of Health and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID) program .
In Native American folklore, the white ibis was the last animal to seek shelter before a hurricane, and the first to emerge after the storm. The ibis therefore symbolized the danger of an approaching storm, and also the safety after the maelstrom passed.
But now ibises may more often signal danger — at least in public parks.
People feeding white ibises in such places are turning wild birds into tame ones, scientists say. The researchers believe the practice may spread disease among ibises, and between ibises and humans.
The biologists are studying how hand-feeding is changing the health, ecology and behavior of white ibises in south Florida, where development is paving over the birds’ natural wetland habitats.
Shift in ibis behavior
White ibises usually prey on aquatic animals such as fish, snails and crayfish, but they’re becoming accustomed to bread, fast food and popcorn from people, says Sonia Hernandez, a veterinarian and ecologist at the University of Georgia (UGA).
The shift in behavior could have serious consequences not just for the ibises, says Hernandez, but also for people. It may allow pathogens transmitted through feces, like salmonella, to build up and pose risks for both birds and humans.
“We found that the strains of salmonella bacteria white ibises are infected with are the same ones people get sick from, especially in Florida,” Hernandez says. “Because white ibises fly from urban to natural environments fairly easily, they could move these strains across large distances.”
White ibis infectious disease ecology
Hernandez is working with other UGA researchers on a white ibis project funded by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID) Program. Additional UGA researchers involved are Jeff Hepinstall-Cymerman, Sonia Altizer, Richard Hall and Kristen Navara.
The findings will ultimately apply to other wildlife species that live alongside humans in public parks and similar landscapes, the scientists say.
“Our interactions with wildlife can enliven our cities, but they also carry the potential for increasing disease risk to wildlife and to us,” says Sam Scheiner, an EEID program director at NSF.
“This study will provide important information on the consequences of our interactions with ibises — and serve as a model for managing urban wildlife,” says Scheiner. “The research is the most comprehensive to date on how food resources in human-dominated habitats influence wildlife responses to infectious diseases.”
Global urbanization: the risks it carries
Urbanization is expanding across the globe, with two-thirds of the world’s people expected to live in cities within the next 40 years.
Development is causing many wildlife species to decline. Some species, however, are capitalizing on new urban resources, especially food provided by humans.
Shifts in wildlife ecology in response to intentional or accidental feeding by people can alter animals’ susceptibility to infectious diseases, says Hernandez.
“Human-altered diets might change the makeup of these species’ gut bacteria and increase their susceptibility to infection,” adds Scheiner.
Easier in a park
In their NSF EEID project, the researchers are focusing on white ibises in Palm Beach County, Florida, where Hernandez has monitored the birds since 2010.
White ibises live along the Atlantic coast as far north as North Carolina and on the Gulf Coast west to Louisiana. The birds are usually nomadic and spend much of their days searching for food.
Why expend energy searching for food when humans in parks will provide it? Because it’s an easy meal. “If white ibises have a reliable food source, they often form large flocks that stay year-round in one place,” says Altizer.
Increasing numbers of ibises in urban parks facilitate contact with animals the ibises wouldn’t normally encounter, like mallard ducks, gulls and other city birds that are disease reservoirs.
Urban vs. natural areas
The researchers are comparing six urban and six natural areas in Palm Beach County. They’re placing identification bands on captured birds before releasing them, tracking movements using GPS devices, recording basic data about each ibis marked, taking blood samples and collecting feces for salmonella testing.
The scientists are focusing on salmonella because it causes one of the most significant diarrheal diseases in people and results in mortality in young wading birds such as ibises.
“Urban ibises have extremely high levels of stress hormones and weak immune systems compared with other birds,” Navara says. “Ultimately, this could affect how pathogens, including salmonella, are transmitted among individual ibises and between the birds and humans.”
To date, the biologists have found that GPS-tracked ibises at urban sites move very little compared to those at natural sites. The prevalence of salmonella in ibises at urban sites, as well as salmonella in city water and soil, is higher than that in ibises and in the environment at natural sites, says Hernandez.
Soon the scientists will have further insights to offer. Their next fieldwork is planned for Feb. 10 to March 10, 2016. They will place GPS tracking devices on as many as 50 ibises in urban parks and 50 in natural areas.
The researchers hope the project will raise awareness about how “helping” wildlife species by feeding them may have unintended consequences. The findings will also lead to improved ways people and wildlife can share habitats in cities.
The result? Less danger in human-bird disease connections — and more optimism for our co-existence with wild species.
White ibises with spoonbills, wood storks and other wading birds in Florida’s Fisheating Creek.
Credit and Larger Version
White ibises are abundant in Florida; the species has become synonymous with the Everglades.
Credit and Larger Version
Biologists secure a backpack-style harness for a GPS transmitter on a white ibis.
Credit and Larger Version
Researchers release a white ibis outfitted with a GPS transmitter as part of the NSF EEID project.
Credit and Larger Version
Scientists take blood from an ibis for stress hormones, immune function and antibodies to pathogens.
Credit and Larger Version
University of Georgia Research Foundation Inc
Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases
#1518611 Consequences of Anthropogenic Resources for the Cross-Scale Dynamics of an Enteric Pathogen in an Avian Host