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this means wawuh!


Lan4Dawg
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One would think w/ two cats living on the deck right next to the blue berry bushes, two full bird feeders in the front yard, and the woods behind the house full of all sorts of treats that birds would not be a problem. Last week I noticed bunches of blue berries that would be ripe and ready to be plucked by the week-end and was eagerly anticipating what I would/could do w/ those soon to be harvested morsels. On Sunday morning I decided it was time to go "a pickin'" and noticed, much to my dismay, that there was not a ripe berry to be found. The only thing on either of the bushes was a mocking bird who--yes--mocked me for thinking that I would have bunches of desirable blue fruit goodness for muffins, pancakes, syrup, &c. He could not have looked more guilty if he had blue berry juice running down his beak. Apparently the cats do not phase them and neither do humans as this bird just sat and stared at me until I was just about close enough to smack him and then he flew just out of reach taunting me the entire time. I spent much of the after noon watching and noticed a parade of mocking birds, blue jays, and a couple of species I did not recognize landing on the bush or the deck railing and looking for ripe blue berries. They left the green ones alone but looked long and hard for any thing ripe. Unfortunately for them--and for me--they and their friends had already cleaned out the bushes.

I suppose I should not complain too much as I did make it up to my parents' house in north Georgia on Monday and picked three gallons of the delightful little fruits fr/ the dozen or so bushes they have. Amazingly enough my mother--who feels that leaving a tomato to rot on the vine is a personal affront to the good Lord him self and a sin for which you will have to atone before St. Peter when you reach the Pearly Gates--does not worry about the birds getting her berries. Her reasoning is simple, "your father and I can not reach those on the top of the bushes any way and it is too much of a struggle to get the step ladder every day so we let the birds have at it. As long as they stay out of my tomatoes!" They were not so happy last fall when they went to harvest the muscadine and wild grapes they had been cultivating all summer only to find a couple of dozen wild turkeys standing beneath the arbors gorging them selves on every grape they could reach. Mother swears a couple of them were on their tip toes w/ their necks stretched as far as a giraffes' going for the fruit. The Rev still laments that he could not get back to the house for his shot gun in time. Mean while I yell at the cats for being so lazy as to allow the birds to enjoy the fruits of my labors (pun intended) and the cats just roll over and expect to be scratched behind the ears. Me thinks there might be a conspiracy here.......

btw, for jealousy purposes, lunch on Monday consisted of sandwiches made w/ fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes on home made rye bread, stuffed eggs, home made bread & butter and dill pickles from last year's cucumber harvest, fresh-from-the-garden cantaloupe and caramel pound cake and in addition to the blue berries I came home w/ enough tomatoes to fill my 12 quart stock pot and they are now rendering sauce as I type, several butter nut squash, enough egg plant to feed a small army, a number of pretty good sized zucchini, two cantaloupes that would make Dolly Parton proud, an armful of cucumbers, peppers by the dozens, and if I had stuck around another hour I probably could have gotten a bushel or so of okra as it was growing that fast.

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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......

  Meanwhile I yell at the cats for being so lazy as to allow the birds to enjoy the fruits of my labors (pun intended) and the cats just roll over and expect to be scratched behind the ears.  Me thinks there might be a conspiracy here....... 

Maybe those cats are getting a kick-back from the birds? Hope those birds stay away from your property when it comes time to relieve themselves after feasting on your berries. We have holly bushes around our house and seems that after the birds have helped themselves to the berries, our cars and sidewalks are more "decorated" than usual.

CBHall

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I realize it is small consolation, but you can at least be glad the birds are eating the fruit fresh off the plants, as opposed to windfall fruit that's had time to ferment. We had a few incidents with the windfall off the mulberry trees in my family's yard--there is nothing quite so bizarre as the sound and spectacle of drunken bluejays. :laugh:

Oh yeah, and our bluejays, drunk or sober, could care less about the presence of the neighbors' cat, even though she was a determined hunter--in fact, I witnessed them mobbing and dive-bombing the poor kitty a couple of times. Real houligan birds, these were.

Edited by mizducky (log)
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If you're really serious about keeping birds off stuff - you need some "bird netting" (available through many gardening stores/catalogues/web sites/etc.). Also - a bird feeder will attract birds to your yard. Once they're there - they're not very picky about what they eat. Whatever looks good is fair game (even tomatoes - which birds don't really seem to like - they'll just poke holes in all of them to see if there's one they like). So I'd recommend getting the netting - and getting rid of the feeders.

I gave up keeping the birds away a long time ago (I'm too lazy to use netting) - and now garden to attract birds and butterflies. Have - at last count - observed 24 species of birds in the yard - and I've never counted the species of butterflies/moths.

BTW - your attempt at a "cat solution" wouldn't be appreciated by most people who are interested in the environment (including me). Cats (domestic and feral) are one of the major threats to birds - and bird diversity - in our environment. Robyn

Edited by robyn (log)
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Bottle rockets. We have the biggest tree (no berries or fruit) for blocks around. From 1 July til 30 Aug or so, we are the Starling Motel, with the accompanying noise, debris, and thousands of drops per hour, upon patio, plants, furniture, bird feeders, birdbath, and any unwary passersby.

At sundown, the invasion begins: The great clouds of the birds, each chirping directions at the top of its lungs, fly in and settle upon this one tree. They have dozens---hundreds---of perfectly good trees to choose from, and this is the spot. Literally. They sag the boughs of this 60' tree, as wide as it is tall, and fill the air with chirps, chatter and yukky projectiles to unman the faint of heart.

Then the ammo is broken out, from the cases of bottle rockets lying ready in the upstairs storeroom. One of the soot-encrusted launchers (having lived a previous life as a Diet Dr. Pepper bottle) is used to shoot whizbang zip-pow into the tree, time after time, as the disturbed sections flutter and take flight for better environs. The little shapes cover the sky overhead as they flee for cover and safety in other parts. Each rocket evicts a horde of the swooping birds, and after the first dozen or so, the crowds diminish, as does the noise level mongst the leaves. As the second dozen sound their loud bangs, the overhead flight is smaller and smaller, until with the end of the third dozen, quiet comes with the final WHEEEE-POW!!

A few determined squatters try to return, and they are firmly discouraged. As the night falls, no bird ever braves the darkness for the familiar tree. They spend their nights elsewhere, and the drastic steps are worthwhile.

I'm an animal person. I love all furry and feathered and swimmy pets. I reach into the sink and rescue an ant from a watery grave as it circles the drain in a whirlpool. I have a special affinity for spiders, and have been known to scoop one up in my hand and take it outside. And I REALLY love birds, especially the big old blue and gold one whispering himself to sleep in his room-sized cage upstairs.

I DO NOT like poop-encrusted furniture and cushions and ferns and umbrellas (which brings to mind having to escort guests into the house beneath one on a memorable evening not long ago). Nor is power-scrubbing the concrete patio every day with disinfectant my idea of a pleasant morning.

I would not stand for cruelty to any animal within my sight or property. But when something so NASTY, so egregiously, persistently destructive to property and wellbeing and health just KEEPS ON keeping on, I TAKE STEPS. :angry:

Actually, Hubby takes most of them. He lights up those fuses with childhood glee, aiming for the most populous sections of the limbs, whilst I cover my ears between bottle-holdings. Sometimes I'm the loader, sometimes the lighter. I do not enter into the spirit of things with the littleboy enjoyment evinced by my middleaged mate, but sometimes it's just nice to be married to a man who will do anything in his power to protect and preserve what's ours.

I just didn't know he was going to be Drum Eatenton. :wacko:

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You don't like animals. You like animals as long as they don't bother you.

In most parts of suburbia - exurbia - and ruralia - the animals were there long before the people. And I figure if someone doesn't like - or can't coexist with - the animals that live where they're planning to live - they ought to live somewhere else. The only rule I have where I live (and we have lots and lots of critters) is they will be killed or relocated (whichever is more practical) if they decide to move into the house. Otherwise - I leave them alone. Robyn

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.......

At sundown, the invasion begins:  The great clouds of the birds, each chirping directions at the top of its lungs, fly in and settle upon this one tree.    They have dozens---hundreds---of perfectly good trees to choose from, and this is the spot.  Literally.  They sag the boughs of this 60' tree, as wide as it is tall, and fill the air with chirps, chatter and yukky projectiles to unman the faint of heart.

Then the ammo is broken out.......

hey....is this where those lemons mentioned in your signature come into play? :laugh:

CBHall

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Robyn,

I DO like animals. I like birds. I think they are beautiful and delightful and a wonderful part of the world. I have a wonderful one which is seven years old, a sweet and happy companion which I pamper and care for and converse with all day long.

I also like to walk outside my house and not be pooped upon. I'm not speaking one random poopshot, but THOUSANDS. I'm talking slick, yukky crusts and slicks and slimes of it, on the patio and furniture and all over the plants and the cars and the sidewalk and anybody unwary enough to walk out the back door.

It happens EVERY DAY. It goes on ALL NIGHT, raining down and covering everything within a 75 foot area. It is smelly, it is disgusting, it is unhealthful, and I have to clean it EVERY morning, if it is not to become a permanent concrete on everything we have out there.

When it rains, the entire area emits a nauseating fishy-poop smell, much like the penguin island at the zoo. You cannot escape the smell and the rain of it and the mess of it and the completely frustrating FACT of it. It happens every year, for at least two months of the summer. We cannot enjoy the cool of an evening outside. We cannot invite guests for cookouts or al fresco dining or cocktails in the garden.

This has become a lark latrine, a tanager toilet, a permanent starling s***zone, and I will not live this way. The birds do not know better. But we have to LIVE better, and that must take precedence.

Yes, they do bother me...we have taken the only remedy which will give us any surcease from a constant, unbearable stench and mess and grime which takes away from our enjoyment of Summer outdoors. I WILL NOT give up and let the birds do their DO on all the things I have worked in the heat to plant, and arrange and keep in good order. No, they haven't invaded my house, but they do invade my life, my property, my peace of mind. EVERY DAY. By the thousands.

Please come for cocktails tomorrow. We're gathering on the patio at seven. Hope you like dirty martinis.

Edited by racheld (log)
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Please don't use the bird netting. I thought it was a great idea too, until a morning was spent untangling a panting barely-alive bird caught in it. Absolutely horrifying. Bird netting in the trash.

Give in. Plant another bush- one for you, one for them.

-Linda

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BTW - your attempt at a "cat solution" wouldn't be appreciated by most people who are interested in the environment (including me).  Cats (domestic and feral) are one of the major threats to birds - and bird diversity - in our environment.  Robyn

My dear Robyn, I hope that you are not for one minute thinking I am condoning controlling the avian population with cats--either domestic or feral. Just as I would not condone controlling the criminal element w/ large dogs having a large dog in the yard is a deterrent to a burglar. One would think that having several cats in the back yard near the blue berry bushes would be a deterrent to the birds. I probably should have known better, however, when I watched a mocking bird light on the side of the cats' food dish and proceed to eat several pieces of the cats' food before taking off. One of the cats was snoozing about three feet away and barely opened an eye to the entire event. The post was more "tongue-in-cheek" than any thing as we enjoy our feathered friends and Little Miss Trouble who spends hours at the front window watching and "talking to" her birdy "friends" would be highly upset if they ever abandoned us.

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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Well,

I think you may have lost the blueberry battle. But, for us envious Northerners who have yet to see a ripe tomato, sounds like you are winning the produce war.

If you are bent on using the nets try to stretch them taut so that the birds will bounce right off, sorta like trapeze nets, only smaller :raz: .

If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

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There's something funny going on here. Somebody, somewhere, either said some prayers or sent out lure-calls or SOMETHING, cause when I went out with the trash just at dusk, there were no birds (cue Twilight Zone theme here).

None. No sound, no whirry wings, no poop. None.

The patio is clean, the furniture is pristine (as much as the hose could get it after six weeks of daily washings). Nothing stirred the leaves, no limbs swayed. The air is clean and fresh and summery, with no hint of visiting poopers.

I owe somebody a thank you. For all prayers, chants, thoughts, hexes, curses, spells and mindmelds, my hearty appreciation.

Hubby was so tired and hungry when he got home, he didn't even notice. I almost hate to tell him. He enjoys the fireworks so.

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Just a man holding a cigarette w/ an odd way of speaking stepped out of the woods and said, "Presented for your consideration....."

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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