Do scarecrows work ??

Andy writes:
Well, I'm starting a new garden and stuff has sprouted and things seem to be going well. But I am apprehensive about my tomatoes. I live in a very rural area and there are LOTS AND LOTS of birds, including crows the size of owls..... I am sure these critters love tomatoes, figs, and grapes........
So, I am considering putting up a scarecrow.
Has anyone here had experience with scarecrows and would you be willing to pass along any tips and techniques on making it effective ?
Thanks for your informed advice....
Andy in Eureka, Texas
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On the day of 9 Apr 2006 19:08:40 -0700...
typed these letters:

I've seen crows perch on scarecrows. These scarecrows didn't look a lot like people though. I've always though a department store mannequin might work. In strawberry patches I regularly see a stakes driven in the ground about 4' high with about a foot long string attached to the top. The other end of the string is tied to an aluminum pie pan. I guess the idea is that the pie plate clanked against the stake in the wind. I've never tried it, so I can't say it works, but I see it done a lot.
I've never had a problem with birds messing with my tomatoes. Them big green ugly tobacco/horn worms are the things that hit me here in North Carolina.
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Few if any scarecrows work forever. Eventually the birds wise up and realize it's fake. Mylar streamers are often used because they move in the wind and startle birds.
If all else fails, consider a motion activated sprinkler.
-S
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go ahead, but it won't stop the birds for more than 10 minutes :) seriously, birds are smarter than that. if it doesn't move, it's not going to scare anything. OTOH, crows eat carrion mostly, so they aren't in the least interested in your tomatoes. i've never had a bird problem with tomatoes (well, except the chickens). hornworms, yes. birds, no. as for the grapes & figs, it may be more useful to put netting over those when they start to ripen. i only have Concord & wild grapes here and they're mostly so the birds leave the fruit i *do* want alone ;) oh, the crows don't want your grapes or figs either... the only thing crows tend to bother is sprouting corn, because the corn sprouts about the same time they're feeding nestlings.

crows are very intelligent. if you need to keep them away from sprouting corn, things that are very shiny & move work best, but don't leave anything in one place more than 24 hours or they'll learn to ignore it.
lee
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"AndyS" snipped-for-privacy@juno.com wrote in
Andy writes:
Well, I'm starting a new garden and stuff has sprouted and things seem to be going well. But I am apprehensive about my tomatoes. I live in a very rural area and there are LOTS AND LOTS of birds, including crows the size of owls..... I am sure these critters love tomatoes, figs, and grapes........
So, I am considering putting up a scarecrow.
go ahead, but it won't stop the birds for more than 10 minutes :) seriously, birds are smarter than that. if it doesn't move, it's not going to scare anything. OTOH, crows eat carrion mostly, so they aren't in the least interested in your tomatoes. i've never had a bird problem with tomatoes (well, except the chickens). hornworms, yes. birds, no. as for the grapes & figs, it may be more useful to put netting over those when they start to ripen. i only have Concord & wild grapes here and they're mostly so the birds leave the fruit i *do* want alone ;) oh, the crows don't want your grapes or figs either... the only thing crows tend to bother is sprouting corn, because the corn sprouts about the same time they're feeding nestlings.
Has anyone here had experience with scarecrows and would you be willing to pass along any tips and techniques on making it effective ?
crows are very intelligent. if you need to keep them away from sprouting corn, things that are very shiny & move work best, but don't leave anything in one place more than 24 hours or they'll learn to ignore it.
lee -- If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. -James Madison, fourth US president (1751-1836)
a scarecrow really doesnt work but is a cute garden decoration. w always used to have one in our garden when we were kids. the one thin that does help is the pie plates that devonshire mentioned. i used t put a stake at either end of my beans and tomatoes when they wer sprouting and would put pie plates on a wire running from one stake t the other. just put a hole in the edge of the pie plate rim and the use a string (dont make it to long) to tie the pie plate tightly t your wire, put them not to far apart because u want them to hit eac other a bit to make a banging sound so that it scares the birds away. another idea is to use those little whirlygigs that they have for kid the birds dont like the motion of them spinning around either. u ca get some at the dollar stores but there are larger ones available whic i think would work a little better, maybe check out walmart or anothe dept store in your area for those. i know michaels craft store had som large ones here in canada maybe try there to if u have them in your are u might be able to get them at a reasonable price. good luck. cyaaaaa, sockiescat
-- sockiescat
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Scarecrows are probably the best excuse, ever invented, to use some of those ugly bride's maid dresses . Most scarecrows are 'male' and don't have much to blow in the breeze, the fluttering skirt of a really ugly taffeta and net dress will do the trick for about 3 weeks........don't forget the fluttering veil and ribbons on the hat! After that go to the Mylar ribbons and hanging some of those free for 30 days computer discs that come in the mail to spin in the wind. The flashing from those works great in fruit trees too.
Val

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Valkyrie wrote:

Birds become habituated to any type of scarecrow. Which means that if we can prevent that habituation, the scarecrows will be successful. Suppose we set up a new scarecrow before the birds become habituated to the old one. Then replace the new one before the birds become habituated to it, perhaps by the previous one, perhaps by a third type. And so on. My guess is that this would work.
So: Has anyone here tried a random sequence of different scarecrow types, set up at randomised intervals of, say, 5 to 15 days? Or know of such an experiment?
HTH
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