do birds eat hibiscus buds

Gardeners are constantly worrying about protecting their plants from hungry deer, rabbits, and insects. Sometimes our feathered friends can also eat flowers and flower buds from certain plants. Read more to learn why birds eat flower buds and tips on flower bud protection from birds.

Help! I was ecstatic to see that this year’s hardy hibiscus had produced TWO large stalks and an abundance of buds! However, upon returning from admiring the soon-to-open buds, I discovered that something has been devouring them before they have a chance to open! It appears as though something has severed a large portion of the flowr, tearing open the bud. I dont see ANY insects or evidence of insects. We have a lot of birds around here, but we’ve never had an issue with them nibbling on hibiscus buds. Would a bird do that? I will cry if they don’t bloom this year. Any ideas what that could be? And how to stop it before they eat all of them?

What to do When Birds are Eating My Flowers

Most garden centers carry netting to protect plants from birds. There are a few problems with this netting. Birds can still pierce through the netting and pick some buds if it is positioned directly on the plant. Using wood or stakes to support the netting above and around the plant without it actually touching the plant is the best way to cover it with this type of netting. Considering that birds like to treat themselves to large shrubs and small trees, this could be challenging for them. Birds may become entangled in the netting if it is not tightly stretched around the plant or supports. Another use for fine-mesh chicken wire is to encircle plants that birds are nibbling on. One old trick to keep birds from eating flower buds on fruit trees is to hang pie tins there. Birds are scared away by the shiny surface, reflecting light, and movement of the pie tin swirling in the wind. An updated take on this ancient custom is to dangle vintage CDs from fruit trees. Anything that sways with the wind and disperses reflected light can shield flower buds from birds. The sound of the chimes hanging from the trees annoys birds as well. Twinkling outdoor lights may deter birds too. In a different area of the yard, you can also build a flower bed that is friendly to birds. To give the birds an alternative to nibbling on the buds on your fruit trees, place bird baths and hang feeders.

Why Do Birds Eat Flower Buds?

When birds’ preferred fruit and seeds are unavailable in the early spring, certain flower buds provide them with nourishment. In spring, the following flowers give cedar waxwings energy as they migrate:

There have also been reports of cardinals, finches, mockingbirds, blue jays, goldfinches, grosbeaks, quail, and grouse feeding on these fruit tree blossoms. Forsythia flowers also appear to be quite popular with cardinals and finches. While most of the time they won’t consume enough of the buds to harm the plant, there are a few easy ways to stop birds from consuming flower buds.