do birds eat cherries off trees

Not only do humans like to snack on cherries, but birds do, too! Birds love cherries as a food source, even before they are ripe. A mixture of preventative methods should be implemented to keep pesky birds away from your precious cherries. Follow these tips for the best ways to protect your cherry crops or trees from birds:

One effective way to keep birds away from your cherries is to install a netting on top of the tree. Be careful though, birds can be persistent and find their way past the netting through the bottom. In addition, birds can reach their beaks through the netting and steal surrounding fruit. Installing wooden frames around the tree to drape the netting and shield from nearby berries can help to prevent this.

2. Use Scare Tactics

These objects, which include aluminum pans, colorful streamers, and fake predators, can deter birds from eating the cherry crop. However, birds can grow familiar with these tactics. To keep them intimidated, make sure to switch the items around from time to time.

Huge sheets of floating row cover were used to cover our trees last year, partially to deter birds and partially to prevent cherry fruit flies from laying their eggs on the cherries. Unfortunately, the row cover was destroyed by several windstorms, so that experiment didn’t go well at all. However, the cherries we picked from the trees were really nice!

If you choose to use flash tape, keep in mind that you should only hang it until it is absolutely necessary (in our case, that was when the cherries began to turn color), and then remove it as soon as the crop is no longer in need of protection.

As you know, birds absolutely love to eat cherries. In our small orchard, we have a few cherry trees, and every year we fight to prevent them from stealing our produce.

But there still was the bird issue… Bill got some bird scare flash tape from Ed Hume Seeds and tied short strips of it onto twine that hangs on either side of one of our pie cherry trees (you can click on the above photos to see a larger ). The tape is red on one side and silver on the other. As the wind blows, or even with a little bit of air movement, the flash tape sparkles and moves, which is supposed to scare the birds. According to Ed Hume’s website, “This seems to signal danger to the birds that may associate it with fire.” Interesting, eh?

This year, we decided to use an organic spray containing Spinosad, called Bull’s-Eye Bioinsecticide from Gardens Alive. My husband Bill has sprayed the trees every so often with it and it seems to have done a good job of keeping the extra “protein” out of the cherries, if you get my drift. I should mention that the spray is very toxic to bees, so it’s important to use the spray when bees aren’t out foraging. This means, do your spraying in the very early morning hours or early evening.

3. Provide Alternate Food Sources

There are instances when birds can only find food in the cherry crop. Put feeders away from the cherry trees to provide birds with an alternative food source. Sunflower seeds, corn, and bird feed can all be used to deter obnoxious birds from visiting cherries.

Birds do not like loud noises. You can deter them by hanging wind chimes around cherry trees or creating the sounds of phony predators. Additionally, playing bird calls and distress signals can help. Similar to dummy predators, these should be switched around from time to time to prevent birds from growing too accustomed to them.


What animals eat cherries off of cherry trees?

cherry, black
(Prunus serotina)
Squirrel, Eastern Gray
Sciurus carolinensis
Vole, Meadow
Microtus pennsylvanicus
Voles, various spp.
various species
Catbird, Gray
Demetella carolinensis

Do birds eat fruit off trees?

And yet, anyone who grows fruit knows that birds can also be a nuisance in an orchard, as they peck away at the fruit growing on your trees and berry plantings. Some common bird bandits include red-winged blackbirds, cedar waxwings, American robins, common grackles, house finches and European starlings.

Will birds eat unripe cherries?

“People want to know how they can keep the birds out of their cherries so they can have some cherries for themselves.” (Yeah, tell me about it.) The trouble with robins, Goodspeed explains, is that they begin to eat the cherries before the fruit is ripe.