hort.net Seasonal photo, (c) 2006 Christopher P. Lindsey, All Rights Reserved: do not copy
articles | gallery of plants | blog | tech blog | plant profiles | patents | mailing lists | top stories | links | shorturl service | tom clothier's archive0
Gallery of Plants
Tech Blog
Plant Profiles
Mailing Lists
    Search ALL lists
    Search help
    Subscription info
Top Stories
sHORTurl service
Tom Clothier's Archive
 Top Stories
Disease could hit Britain's trees hard

Ten of the best snowdrop cultivars

Plant protein database helps identify plant gene functions

Dendroclimatologists record history through trees

Potato beetle could be thwarted through gene manipulation

Hawaii expands coffee farm quarantine

Study explains flower petal loss

Unauthorized use of a plant doesn't invalidate it's patent

RSS story archive

Re: FW: TB: Cult: Birds (long)

Don't feel bad Francelle,
Mocking birds and blue jays attack ours too. Looks to me like it is just the males, as if the flowers are threatening or something. Here, only the very flashy iris get attacked and only in the front yard where there are trees for the birds to rest in. We let the cats roam the yard and it seems to deter the birds. I run a lot and carry pepper spray with me (for dogs), if you spray the buds with pepper spray the birds will leave them alone most of the time. You have to spray before too much color is showing as the spray can damage the blooms....good luck with whatever you can figure out.....frustrating occurrence, especially after you have made a cross on one of the flowers and it gets shredded.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Francelle" <fjmjedwards@qwest.net>
To: <iris@hort.net>
Sent: Saturday, March 08, 2008 7:49 PM
Subject: [iris] FW: TB: Cult: Birds (long)

For most of my life, and that's a long, long time, I have grown irises
casually in Arizona and never had any trouble with birds.  Then I got
serious about surrounding myself with the best of these beautiful flowers
and helping create more. Soon after that, birds discovered my irises. Now every spring I have to battle these little winged rats. Usually they prove
smarter than I am.  I have tried everything.  Once I had the iris beds
covered with fiery red streamers. It took about two weeks for the birds to find out that they had nothing to do with fire. A couple of other springs,
I had two dozen metallic children's whirligigs spinning above the stalks.
It was a major operation to put them up, but they helped a little bit. Then
someone said to put insecticide on the buds.  That damaged the blossoms
almost as much as the birds did.  For three years I used Ropel liquid bird
repellant. That worked until last year, when I think it must have lost its strength, and I can't find any more. The only stalks I saw bloom last March were those I cut at first sign of color and brought in the house. This year
I decided that I would just sacrifice my first blooms to experiments as I
try to teach birds that my irises just aren't very good.  I treated some
with insecticide.  A nurseryman told me to try neem oil.  I did, and the
buds I treated were gone the next morning. Then I got creative and decided
to try liquid smoke from the grocery store.  Maybe birds wouldn't like the
smell of smoke. I still don't know if that will work or not, but the buds I treated last night were still there this morning. I think I will treat them
again, as the odor doesn't last very long.

For early blooming seedlings that I am really determined to see, my husband
has built cages which I have covered with bird net.  However I can't cover
very much of the garden that way.

The two types of birds that I have caught in the act, sitting on top of a
flower, tossing petals right and left to reach the anthers and the style
arms, are Mocking Birds and Aberts Towhees. The thing which bothers me the most is that I know many people who grow irises here, and none of them have
this problem.  Why do those birds peck on me?

Francelle Edwards  Glendale, AZ  Zone 9

To sign-off this list, send email to majordomo@hort.net with the

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG.
Version: 7.5.518 / Virus Database: 269.21.7/1322 - Release Date: 3/9/2008 12:17 PM

To sign-off this list, send email to majordomo@hort.net with the

Other Mailing lists | Author Index | Date Index | Subject Index | Thread Index

 © 1995-2015 Mallorn Computing, Inc.All Rights Reserved.
Our Privacy Statement