Trying To Save Some Blueberries For Me

I have four three year old blueberry bushes in my backyard. All four are about three-foot tall. This year it looks like I'm going to get a decent yield from all of the bushes. However, I have a lot of blue jays, cardinals, mocking birds, squirrels, and of course, sparrows visiting my yard every day.
First question: Do you think I stand a chance of retrieving the berries before these guys take their cut?
Second question: Which one of these guys are going to be the biggest thief?
Third question: Is there anything I can do to keep them from stealing all the berries?
Patrick
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com said:

I've noticed that birds like to eat some types of berries *before* they are ripe enough for me. I've also seen 12+ robins in one large bush. So the answer might be... no.

Does that really matter? As for watching birds feed on the fruit of my amelanchier, robins and starlings are the most consistant, but if a flock of cedar waxwings shows up, they can really start stripping fruit.
And you might want to consider other four-footed fruit eaters, too (the night shift: raccoons, rats, and possums).

Rig up a light framework out of pvc pipe and use it to support plastic bird netting over each bush. This won't stop determined four-footed critters. But adding a radio at night, tuned to a talk station, helps with the night shift. Use something to weight it down to the ground. Sometimes birds will manage to worm their way in somehow. And on other problem: sometimes snake will get themselves tangled in the netting. This can be fatal to the snake. (This is not good. Even if you don't like snakes.)
If you are the sort to think seriously about the long run, you might want to consider constructing some panels out of 1x1 or 2x2 wood and 1-inch hex netting (chicken wire). These could be put up when the fruit begins to color (tie or wire them together to box in each bush) and knocked down for storage most of the year.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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We used to lose our whole crop to the birds, since they eat the berries before they are ripe.
I bought some netting, large enough to cover our five plants. I had some one-inch line in the garage (mooring line that had been replaced by new), which I sewed around the edge of the netting. It takes two of us to place the netting, which I do when the berries are formed, and the line around the edge is heavy enough to keep it from blowing away. I got fairly large netting, so the birds can still get the berries near the net, but we get the rest.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote in

http://www.n-a-f-a.org/htm/aboutfal_main.htm
or if you don't have 7 years:
http://www.theraptortrust.org/nestbox.html
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