Blueberry Bandits

1. June 2014 22:48

The eight potted blueberry bushes started out the spring with lots of flowers. Small berries followed shortly.  But there never seemed to be any that were properly ripe.  Eventually I realized that it was not a case of being impatient. There were berries that were almost ripe.  But very rarely any that were ready to pick.


Finally I discovered that I was being robbed.  A very clever bluejay had discovered the berries and was picking them off as they ripened.  When he could not find a perch that would allow him to reach what he wanted, he flew at the target, knocked it to the ground where he landed to enjoy his snack.


Now one blue jay was bad enough. But things got worse.  A pair of robins appeared.  We typically do not see robins around here since they tend to prefer more civilized landscapes in the suburbs with nicely manicured lawns where they can hunt worms.  I suspect that a neighbor has suceeded in making the area around their house a little less rural and the robins found it suits them.  Compared to the bluejay, the robins are little pigs and not at all afraid of the human approaching them. And they are sampling a lot of the other garden goodies as well.

If I am going to get more than an occasional blueberry, I will need to use bird netting to keep the fruit for my own use.  The berries and leaves on the bushes are too small to simply drape the netting over the bushes.  It will require a support that allows me access to harvest as well. In the long run I plan to have a couple of mulberry trees as offerings to the birds.  In theory, they are supposed to prefer those to other berries and fruit.  Of course, if the birds are not reading the same garden advice, the alternate plan "B" is to have so much growing that there is plenty for all of us to enjoy.

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