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Bluejays wiped out my entire plum crop

Bluejays wiped out my entire plum crop

Arrrghhh!!!! 30 or 40 plums wiped out, destroyed by these plue pieces of F@$#^%&&^ crap.

Anyone have any ideas how to keep them away? Netting didn't work, they pecked right through the netting. And a BB gun won't work either, it might make me feel better, but it's not a practical solution.

This is ridiculus, I didn't get to eat a single Santa Rosa plum. They nail my apricots, ate all the peaches. And I know it's the bluejays, because the fruits lay on the ground half pecked.


The following thread was started by Axel on July 09, 2006 at 9:34 am PST

Then try a pellet gun!

A pest is a pest is a pest.
Walmart has a real nice crack barrel 177 cal pellet gun with a scope for around a hundred bucks. I heard Blue Jays make a good fertilizer.
Not legal to shoot them though....
Got a cat?


The above followup was added by Jeff on July 09, 2006 at 12:30 am PST.

I only got half of a solution

You can always eat the other half of the Santa Rosa plum left behind. No one will know!

The above followup was added by Jonathan in San Francisco on July 09, 2006 at 1:44 pm PST.

Get a better net

We buy pro quality net in 100 meter rolls then cut it up into 10, 15 or 20 meter lengths depending on how big the tree is. The birds can't get in, all you need to do is outsmart a bird, I know some birds can figure things out pretty good but they still aren't up the task of messing with a human that wants to keep his fruit.

Use pegs to clamp all the net together and wrap it around the trunk so it's 100% sealed, then tie rope around the net and trunk. Crows and Wattle birds are the only two birds here that are smart enough to eat things like cherries that are on the outside of the tree close to the net but most trees don't make fruit that close to the net (95% of the cherries aren't either). Parrots can sometimes figure out how to crawl under the net but only one every once in a while so you just open the net and get them out if one gets in.

Also Prune/shape the tree so that no fruit are on the outside of the tree, we have to do that here anyway or plums get destroyed by the strong sunlight and a half eaten fruit still tates the same as a whole one :)

The above followup was added by Jason on July 09, 2006 at 1:56 pm PST.

Axel, have you tried hanging old AOL and etc CD disks from limbs, to twirl in the breeze, it seems ot help some.

I get a little damage, but then I don't have the amount of Blue Jays you seem to have.

They seem to be territorial, shoot the sucker if you can. But don't get caught. It is now against the law to shoot most birds especially migratory ones.

Here in the Central Valley they eat a lot things. And they are not even native to here, well they once lived in the river areas only. But once peach and almond trees spread everywhere, they migrated away from the rivers.

Blue Jays are nasty birds, they also eat other baby birds and eggs out of nests; almost killed out the dove population here in the valley.

I tried netting this year to keep them away from my young cherry tree, and the few handfuls of cherries; this was the first time it has fruited and I wanted a few to taste. They were eating or taking a few bites out of all of them and they weren't even close to be being ripe.

I find that Jays seem to be territorial. I only get a pair, and then their young ones, once they fly.

I found the netting easy to put on somewhat, but hard to get off, as the limbs had grown though the netting.


The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on July 09, 2006 at 3:09 pm PST.

Bird Distraction


You once mentioned that you were thinking of using capulin cherry trees as "filler" plants in your landscape. If you enacted this plan and scattered capulins here-and-there through your whole yard, it would certainly help to distract the jays and give them something to eat other than your most prized fruits. And capulins grow fast and start bearing very quickly, so you would have to wait long for this "protection" to kick in.

But following Jason's advice on netting with crops that you *really* don't want to miss out on will probably be a necessity, at least while your plums, peaches, etc., are still small and only producing a few dozen fruits each. Once they get larger, and yield more bountiful harvests, it obviously won't be as much of an issue if the jays get a few.

The above followup was added by Ashok on July 09, 2006 at 8:48 pm PST.


Obviously the above should read: "so you wouldn't have to wait long for this "protection" to kick in."

The above followup was added by Ashok on July 09, 2006 at 8:49 pm PST.

I have read that growing mulberries is an effective distractant for Cherries


The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on July 09, 2006 at 11:53 pm PST.

netting needs to be susupended over the trees..

Next time Axel use plain old PVC pipe driven into the ground in lengths1-2' higher than the tree.Maybe use old galavanized pipe into the ground as a sheave for the plastic pipe. The birds can never reach through the netting.

The above followup was added by Stan on July 10, 2006 at 2:22 pm PST.


I feed "my" jays with almonds and peanuts, and some water. They don't bother with the fruits and drive away those tiny pesky fruit eating birds away. Sometimes when the jays are not around, I have bird bites all over from those small pesky birds that sometimes attack en masse.

The jays seem to disappear once our neighbor's kids throws stones at them or slingshots them with modeling clay.

The above followup was added by Joe Real on July 10, 2006 at 4:21 pm PST.

i would hate to be a bird..

After seeing the wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill movie ,i dont think i can blame them for being hungry birds.Its a cold world that shoots you for eating a plum.

The above followup was added by Stan on July 11, 2006 at 7:35 am PST.

Water & Food seems like the best idea

Stan, I agree with you, which is why I asked explicitely NOT to get a BB gun suggestion.

I may try the water and almond trick.


The above followup was added by Axel on July 11, 2006 at 9:31 am PST.

feed the birds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!DONT SHOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Like Joe Real said, i feed my Scrub Jays with Cheerios, several bowls placed around my Guavas, to keep them from eating the flowers AND the fruit! They never have bothered the Guava since.


The above followup was added by carlo on July 11, 2006 at 1:27 pm PST.

exclusion aviaries

When I used to breed parrots I would build aviaries to house them in out of welded wire. If aviaries can be constructed to keep birds in, they can be constructed to keep them out. If your trees are on dwarfing understock, you should be able to construct a cage around them out of steel T-posts and welded mesh or even chicken wire. There are companies that make aluminum fasteners that connect the T-posts together to form a box. You can pick them up at the farm supply store.
Perhaps the easiest approach is to plant standard-sized fruit trees. Once a tree gets to twenty or thirty feet tall, the birds tend to hand around in the upper canopy and leave the lower fruits alone.

The above followup was added by Steve in Brookings on July 11, 2006 at 1:42 pm PST.

I have thought of that, fencing in my plants. My cats seem to keep birds away from the low growing fruiting plants.

Here in the Central Valley, the Blue Jays continually eat walnuts and almonds if they can find them, pecan's too in season.

I have never thought about feeding them, will have to consider that.

It is not good to feed them junk food, bad for their health, but then I guess, why am I worrying about that short term use of something, I would not allow my own daughter to use on a regular basis.


The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on July 11, 2006 at 4:55 pm PST.


Cheerios are quite healthy.


The above followup was added by CARLO on July 14, 2006 at 1:10 pm PST.

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