Here’s a bit of advice for blueberry growers who share a yard with birds like catbirds: We have found bird netting with 1- or 2-inch wide holes doesn’t work. The netting gets tangled on the branches and the birds occasionally get tangled in the black plastic mesh as well. I have seen catbirds and other birds hanging dead in such netting, and I have no desire to see that in our yard.
One poor solution is to pick the berries before they are fully ripe, but we found a better way. We cover our blueberry bushes with a spun-bonded agricultural fabric, often called a floating row cover. This lightweight material is made for this purpose. It lets light and rain through, but the birds can’t even see the blueberries so they don’t try to eat them or sneak under the cover, thus we can leave the fruit on the bush until they are ripe, sweet and delicious.
The fabric comes in 10- or 12-foot widths, so one big piece is enough to cover our two large blueberry bushes. We just lay pieces of firewood on the fabric to hold it down so it is easy to lift up and pick our sweet-ripe fruit whenever we want. The brand of fabric we are using now is the lightest-weight AgroFabric. We’ve also used Remay; both work fine, and one piece lasts for a number of years.
How well you get along with the birds in the yard depends on what you do with your land and how you feel about birds. And a little human ingenuity helps, too.
About Redden Custom Netting
In 1958, John Redden started Redden Net Co. Ltd to supply commercial fishing gear to the fishing communities of the Pacific Northwest. Now, more than fifty years later, we have an in-house net loft staffed by professional, experienced net builders – and our executive team has more than 100 combined years of experience in every facet of industrial netting. So no matter what industry you’re in, if you need a net, we can build it.
Over the last fifty years, our technology, applications, and materials have become more complex, but our business philosophy remains simple. Treat employees and customers – right. We do. And we’ll do it for you.