Do you find birds troublesome? Protecting fruit from birds is vital especially at certain times of the year. Most soft fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries and currants, are frequently damaged by birds. To avoid this a fruit cage may be erected. If you have any spare timber, a permanent one can be constructed for a small cost—well worthwhile when you think of the labour and the value of the fruit saved. Erect the framework of timber and cover the whole with wire netting. Leave a door at one end, and make sure that this fastens securely so that birds cannot get in through it blowing open.
A cage of a less permanent nature may be made from fish netting. A portable timber framework should be set up and hemp netting thrown over this. Care must be taken to see that the strips are joined thoroughly and lap over sufficiently at the entrance to prevent birds getting through at this point.
When planting your soft fruits, remember this need for protection from birds, and plant them near one another in a neat formation so that one cage will serve the entire quantity of soft fruit bushes.
Against a wall it is a simple matter to throw netting from the top and an even better idea is to erect a small canopy framework at the top of a fence or wall so that the netting hangs in front of but not touching the branches.
In large orchards where birds are troublesome and netting impossible owing to the size of the trees and cost of the netting, various methods such Ss the scarecrow and hanging tins to frighten birds are tried. These are seldom much use. The occasional firing of a gun will help to keep birds away, or a small boy walking through the orchard beating a tin protects the fruit to a certain extent.
We should always remember that we welcome birds to help us keep down insect pests and eat weed seeds. Provided they are not too rapacious, should we grudge them a small share of the fruits?