do birds eat garden plants

Birds are both fun to watch and feed on problematic insects, but certain species are also known for eating vegetation and digging up soil.

When you take a look at your garden, theres typically a few birds lurking nearby. In many ways, these creatures are a welcome addition to your outdoor space. “Besides being enjoyable to watch, they can also feed on unwanted insect pests,” explains Kristen Pullen, a woody ornamental product manager and international business assistant for Star® Roses. But there are also a few downsides to allowing birds to soar freely in your yard: The avians snack on vegetation, dig holes in soil while hunting for worms and grubs, eat pollinators, and also leave droppings on garden structures. For those reasons, some gardeners prefer to keep birds away from their landscapes—and if youre one of them, you may be on the hunt for a solution that works for you. To help, we turned to two landscape experts who shared their best tips for keeping birds out of your garden.

Do Birds Eat Plants?

The eating habits of birds will affect your plants. They might not consume the entire plant, but they do consume parts of your plants that harm or remove your produce.

Birds eat:

Seedlings are a common snack for birds. This implies that before they can plant, bloom, and harvest, famished birds will devour your seeds.

Advice: To prevent birds from reaching the seeds, try planting them 1.5 inches into the ground. Then protect the seedlings with seed tunnels.

Put reflective items near plants

In addition to physical structures, Pullen observes that visual deterrents are also quite successful in discouraging birds. “These are objects with wind-moving reflective surfaces that resemble predators,” she explains. You can hang CDs in your trees or bury pinwheels in the ground in your garden, Adrienne R Roethling, the director of the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, claims to have observed what gardeners do to ward off birds. Roethling points out that the movement and reflective lighting will “spook the birds,” despite the fact that it’s not the most visually appealing solution. “.

Use butterfly netting in your garden

Installing a physical barrier—such as butterfly netting—is one practical means of deterring birds from visiting your garden. Pullen advises raising the netting rather than placing it directly on your plants in order to install it successfully and keep birds from landing on top of it and pecking through. “To create a tunnel of netting over your plants, fasten the netting to stakes or curved structures, like PVC pipe.” Be sure that all sides are covered,” Pullen explains. To prevent hurting the birds, when purchasing nets, look for something with holes smaller than 1 centimeter in diameter. Additionally, make sure the netting can be pulled taut. Additionally, it’s critical to choose UV-resistant netting to prevent it from deteriorating from exposure to the sun. The UV-resistant types can then be kept and utilized again the following year,” she says.


Do birds ruin vegetable gardens?

While not all birds are nuisances in the garden, some can be destructive, digging up seeds or feeding on seedlings and mature crops. Some of the birds you don’t want in your garden are crows and varieties of blackbirds.

How do I protect my outdoor plants from birds?

Use butterfly netting in your garden “Fasten the netting to stakes or curved structures, like PVC pipe, to create a tunnel of netting over your plants. Be sure that all sides are covered,” Pullen explains.

What plants will birds not eat?

Certain strong-smelling flowers are disliked by some birds as well, including lavender, garlic, eucalyptus and lemongrass. In fact, such plants can deter other pests — they’re some of the 7 plants that keep mice and rats from invading your home.

Can birds do damage to my garden?

Blackbirds, starlings, and even robins have been known to pull up tasty corn seedlings, munch on ripening cherries, peaches, and blueberries, and even dig holes in lawns looking for insects. The amount of damage will vary, depending on the weather and native food supply that year.