[NAFEX] Robins

William C. Garthright billg at inebraska.com
Tue Jun 12 10:46:51 EDT 2007

> Why don't you try the  fake berry decoys I spoke about last week.  ... Robins are easily fooled but other birds less so, but then, robins do the worst damage (here anyway).  Of course, fledglings won't be fooled either because the fruit is ripe when they leave the nest.

With raspberries, robins seem to be the only problem here (so far). 
However, most of them are fledglings. And they're all so tame that 
they're hard to scare away - at least, for long.

I've got twine strung above the raspberry patch and all around it, and 
I've attached to it long streamers of tinfoil to blow in the breeze. 
They don't seem to even notice. Likewise with the artificial owl that I 
leave mostly hidden in the canes, moving it around regularly. One of my 
squirrels was pretty wary of it, walking around it very cautiously, but 
the robins weren't fooled for a moment. (It's too heavy to dangle on a 

Yesterday, I was working in the middle of the raspberry patch and I 
STILL couldn't keep the robins out. They won't scare off unless I rush 
over to them, and then they just move to the other side of the patch. I 
chased one of them from one side to the other several times. It was 
pretty funny, really. Throwing something doesn't bother them at all, 
unless I actually hit them, and I'm not that accurate (and I don't want 
to hurt them, of course). Spraying water on them works, but only briefly.

The raspberry patch is too big and too thorny to net (well, I COULD, but 
it doesn't sound inviting). Most years, it isn't a problem because I've 
got lots of raspberries, and I hardly notice what the birds get. But the 
late freeze killed a lot of my canes, so I don't have so many this year. 
The robins are eating them as soon as they turn red (these are black 
raspberries), and I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever see a ripe one 
this year.

I'll give your berry decoys a try next year, though. It sounds easy 
enough, and anything that helps will be welcome. The other thing that 
helps is running a hose somewhere. Whenever I'm watering one of my 
plants, the robins spend most of their time right there, gathering 
worms. The adults, anyway. The fledglings apparently find it easier to 
pick berries!

Thanks much,

Lincoln, NE (zone 5)

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no use 
being a damn fool about it. - W.C. Fields

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