My parents haven't quite figured that out yet!! But they see them flying in
and out of the rows of corn all the time, so most likely they are the
culprits! At first they thought it was the raccoons eating it, but the
'coons pull down the stocks when they eat the corn. As the corn is still
standing, it's not the 'coons.
My bet is that another critter is doing the peeling and the finches are
cleaning up afterward.
Deer, squirrels or coons likely doing the peeling, look for tracks.
OH, and a feeder for the finches might work ;ŽD
: > Gravelle wrote:
: >> My parents are having problems with both the golden finches and
: >> purple finches eating the sweet corn they have growing in their
: >> garden. What can be done to keep them from doing this?
: > How do those little birds peel back the husks?
: > --
: > Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
: > USDA Zone 8
: > Sunset Zone 5
Do the golden finches eat the yellow kernels and purple finches eat the
purple ones or does it make a difference?
More likely they are eating the kernels off the ears that have already been
damaged by another critter first.
Where was the Scarecrow during all this drama?
In my garden, the worst offenders seem to be cowbirds and starlings.
They start pecking at the ends of the ear and slowly shred the husks back.
(Tiny scratch marks and bird poo are pretty convincing evidence that it's
the birds, even if you haven't caught them in the act.)
I take heavy duty paper lunch bags and pull them down over the ears
(after the silks have started drying). The only problem is that when
the bags get wet, the birds can tear through them. This is less likely to
happen if you leave a good 'air gap' above the ear. I have small 'tents'
made of hardware cloth which I use to protect sunflower and squash
seedings from birds, which I've had to use to supplement paper bags
when the birds have been very persistent.
I'm toying with the idea of making cloth bags from old sheets...
A local sweet corn grower (for a farm stand) uses those 'terror eye'
balloons you see in some seed catalogs, with lots of flash tape streaming
from them. Don't know if that is truly effective, or just a sign of
(I don't want to chase all the birds out of my garden, just stop them
from eating my corn.)
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
Plastic garden netting might work, if you can figure out a way to suspend it
from the tops of the corn. Clothespins, maybe. Birds don't like getting
their wings & feet tangled in this stuff - makes them nervous about being
able to make a quick escape.
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