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May 29, 2009 09:35 AM

!@#$! Starlings!

So I got all excited about planting seeds this year and they just got set out over the last couple of weeks (its cold up here). Anyway, there is a pair of starlings nesting on the roof of my balcony/fire escape and they are stealing the seedlings whole. At first it was just a squash and a zucchini, but then I noticed a cucumber missing and one snapped off a whole tomato plant right before my eyes. I don't have any netting available and I probably won't have time to get any this weekend. Any advice to thwart these guys? Right now I put a few skewers in and some shiny Christmas balls that might scare them away for a day or two.

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  1. I have old cds and dvds hanging from ribbons in my cherry tree. They spin in the breeze and the flashing light seems to keep away the robins. If your seedlings are small, maybe you could cover them with strawberry baskets or something similar. Or maybe crisscross strings between the sticks you've put in the ground. Good luck. Last year a possum kept uprooting my 18 thyme plants, until I finally just gave up. Gardening can be sooo frustrating.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Glencora

      The strawberry containers worked great until I got in some bird netting.

    2. I know this is probably a little late to be of help. I used cheesecloth in a single layer laid over the seedlings until I could get netting. Used it on the baby apple trees too to keep away the deer that were stripping the leaves. It worked great, allowed light and water through, kept the critters away until I could make a netting run.