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  • Writer's picturekaydee777

But is it scary?

Updated: May 28

As the apricots swell and turn from green to orange, there are signs of bird interest.

Last year I used nets but, over the course of the season, a robin and another little bird ended up dying horrible deaths, tangled in the nets. I wasn’t happy about causing dead birds so have been researching other bird deterrents.

The apricot tree is looking like a totally trashy Christmas tree now, hung with sparkly, reflective silver dangles.

As if the desert light isn’t bright enough, the sun sparks blindingly off these visual tormentors as they twist and sway. Will they scare the birds off the precious fruit? If they don’t, I have a pack of twelve plastic snakes on hand.

I’m experimenting with snakes on a little piece of plant rescued from a film crew deconstruction site downtown and which the birds are eating into the ground.

I think this currently sad succulent is a version of Delosperma (aka vygies in South Africa and Aotearoa or ice plant in USA). I would really like it to spread in a section of rockery. Certain of my avian roommates have other ideas though. This is really frustrating. I’ve seen this plant thriving in gardens around town where I’m sure it gets absolutely no love or care, but have repeatedly lost my attempts to introduce it to voracious birds - possibly sparrows.

Visually neither of these bird deterrents is pleasing to me, but both are (hopefully) temporary until apricots (then plums) are harvested and Delosperma has spread sufficiently to withstand some pecking. Or until it is no longer nesting season when I’ve read that birds need the calcium supplied by green plants so feed on them more avidly.

There’s also a theory floating around that birds destroy succulents for water. With four very popular bird baths which I top up daily, I think this garden is adequately covered in that department. I’m not convinced that’s the reason my avian roommates consistently destroy the Delosperma .

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