Birds & Tomatoes...

My roommate seems rather concerned with the possibility of birds destroying my developing crop of tomatoes. Only the cherries have started to ripen at this time but he keeps warning me that birds will peck the fruit to steal the juices within.
First off, is this a REAL possiblity/problem or just some old wives tale he's blown out of proportion.
Second if it IS a real issue what can I do to combat this? He suggests placing shiny pie-pans around the garden on sticks to scare the birds off. I vaguely remember someone mentioning having a birdbath near (but not in) your garden can help with this, as it provides an alternative and easier to obtain source of water.
I am amusedly concerned. Is this something I really need to worry over, or just another of his "bird brained" ideas?
Mike Stevenson Eastern Panhandle WV USDA Zone 6B
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wrote in rec.gardens.edible:

Birds may peck at the fruit to obtain water. Set up a bird bath and keep it filled so that the birds obtain their water from it. -- Gardening Zones Canada Zone 5a United States Zone 3a Near Ottawa, Ontario
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It is true that birds will sometimes use a tomato as a source of water--this can occur in dry times when natural water is scarce and the extent of the bird population may play a part. it is by no means a normal happening and does not often occur. but it is a possibility. A bird bath would be a good idea as for the rest i would not bother unless actual bird attacks do occur..This can vary widely from area to area so your local situation may differ from other parts of your state or the nation.
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Tie a CD onto a nearby tree and let it swing in the wind. The flashing light will chase away birds.
--

Charles
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snipped-for-privacy@adelphia.net writes:

My initial reaction is that he is mis-informed or incompletely informed.
I have dozens of tomato plants, fruits in all colors, and have never, repeat, never, had a bird peck in a single one of them. However, the bird bath beside the garden always has water and the bird feeder in the middle of the garden usually has food every day. Perhaps my garden has been exceptionally lucky, but that's my experience. I would suspect if one were a bird, it'd be easier (and safer) to get a drink from an open container of water than from a tomato.
The cherries, on the other hand, are another matter. They are eating the cherries, not getting liquid. Also, those cherries are sitting there, shining in the sun, asking to be eaten. <g>
Glenna
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snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote in message writes:

Birds will indeed peck at your tomatoes to get at the juice in dry weather. I have caught them in the act. This has always been a problem in my garden. I tried several different so called "repellents" such as fake predators, AOL CD's and mylar film. The only thing that has helped at all is to leave the birds some water in a couple of locations around the yard. You would think that since my neighbor has multiple bird feeders and birdbaths, they would just drink there, but that just ain't the case.
Lee Hall Zone 6B - Tennessee
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I can't grow tomatoes because the birds hollow them out before the fruit even colours. It probably depends on your location (i.e., the species of birds you have) whether it will be a problem for you. Here (Australia) the bandit is a currawong--a bird very similar to a crow, and just as crafty, inquisitive, and clever. They also pick off strawberries. One year a lot of cherry tomato plants came up in an abandoned bed (after the plumbers had worked nearby to unblock a main sewer!) and I was amazed to find those plants bore heavily yet were ignored by these birds. Whether this can be generalised or not to later years was not determined. The cherry tomatoes ripened on the 'vine' and were delicious.

I would be wasting my time stringing up CDs or anything like that. These particular birds are not bird-brains! They are as intelligent as any dog.
--
John Savage (news reply email invalid; keep news replies in newsgroup)


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In article

LOL it sounds like the deer have an infrared sensor. That's what happens when I am in a hurry. Of course I meant the Scarecrow.
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I understood hehe but you did give me a funny image just now of cyborg deer with infrared sensors and antlers from which they spray jets of mist...
wrote:

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