Strawberry thief

CaraRoseJune 17, 2013

I've been finding my strawberries half eaten on the vine or disapeering all together, just as I finally got the slugs and sow bugs under control.

I was thinking it was a squirrel... but I discovered the real culprit today-- robin fledgling. Looks like only recently foraging for himself. Looked up in time to see him snag a half ripe one off the plant and then proceed to peck it around the yard.

Came back again ten minutes later and I chased him away. Then I caught him in one of my windowboxes of strawberries (couldn't tell if he was going after the berries that time or sow bugs, but chased him away since he's got a taste for my berries).

I was in the process of making bird netting cages for my potted blueberries when I saw him take the strawberry. Started netting my strawberry pots (I have a bunch all over the yard) as well.

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Robins are among the worst bird thieves!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 9:06AM
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GreenThumb85(6b Illinois)

Ohhhhh yeah it is robins, sparrows, & mockingbirds..My strawberry fields get terrorized every year by them. I lose about half of my harvest from them and I still put up netting. The only suggestion I have is to harvest around 4:30am before the birds wake up.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 9:46AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Sounds like you'll be winning the battle for the berry soon. My plants had such a boom crop this year it was easy enough to share with the mockingbirds. They actually seemed to only eat the berries for a couple of days then gave up and let me have the rest. The wild berries around here are having a boom year also, so maybe they are spoiled for choice. I've never seen so many large black raspberries.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 11:29AM
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GreenThumb85(6b Illinois)

I agree with you sunni on the crops have done amazing this year (unlike last year with the drought).

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 4:47PM
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I'd swear all my damage is being done by a single robin this year. He's abandoned the strawberries and taken up ruining my cherries.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 8:38PM
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mommomsgarden(6/Jersey Girl!)

Should strawberries be planted vertically? If so, on a trellis?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 12:32AM
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I once watched as a mother Robin instructed her young offspring in the art of going down my strawberry row selecting ripe berries and pecking each one once. Darned bird, I wouldn't mind so much if they just chose one and ate the whole thing but oh no, it's peck, move to the next one,peck and so on!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 2:49PM
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I have the same problem. I put netting up and they were still getting them. I started pulling all of the strawberries with bugs or bites taken out and leaving them next to the net covered rows out in the open and it seems like that has really helped; the birds, squirrels and rabbits seem to go for these first and leave the hard to get ones alone.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 3:02PM
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