The birds

genecolin(Zone 9, LA)July 18, 2010

I think I'm in the twilight zone and Alfred Hitchcock is the director. Birds in my Celeste didn't bother me too much for there were many to share. But birds in my LSU Gold (not) is another matter. So to stop them cold I build a hoop frame, the one I pictured here. Well the time has come for the fruit on those two trees to start ripening.

I get out the netting and go to work. It didn't take me long to have them tightly closed in. While sitting at my computer is see birds flying around so I stop to watch. There were at least 6 mockingbirds attacking the Celeste, and that's OK since I pick the last ones for my use and the birds could have the remaining ones.

The ones that concerned me, but I thought I had them whipped, were the two near my LSU Gold (not). One was on the fence next to the securely wrapped trees and the other was one top of the hoop frame. As I continued to watch the one on top did a complete survey of the net, walking across the top and then working his way down all the way to the ground. He inspected every inch of the netting and found no weak spots. Main while the other one starting walking all around the netting pecking at it pulling on it trying to find an entrance. He finally got to one corner that I hadn't tied tight yet because I got run in by the rain and found a small opening. He scooted in like he knew exactly what he was doing. I went out and got him out of the pen and secured the weak spot. All's well, well almost.

A few hours later and I'm again at my computer and movement outside caught my attention. The birds were at it again and then on looking closer I saw one was inside. I went out and starting looking for the gap while the bird flew from one end to the other, bouncing off the netting on each trip. Then on one trip to the opposite end from where I was at he went free. I figured there was a breech in my net, so I examined it closely. After about a dozen trips around that enclosure I could not find any way in or out of it. It was still pinned to the ground all around, all the seams were tight, and the corners were good. So I scratch my head. Did that bird fly straight through that 3/4" mesh? I doubt it. Maybe I'm in the Twilight Zone, I can hear the music.

As I'm typing this post 3 mockingbirds are again attacking the netting. This time it held and they gave up after flying at it, hanging on it, and pecking and pulling on it. I just hope they have been discouraged. Tomorrow I will pick some figs and post pictures. I still would like to know what's the name of this fig.

Sorry to be so long, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.


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Hi Gene,
wow that interesting to read.I have many birds here but in my years growing figs there either dumb or do not like my dark type figs i grow. I have a fountain right dab smack amongst the larger fig trees that they bathe in, nearby i have 2 bird houses attached to shed and there always around but not those type of birds you mention. We have robins, sparrows, occasional cardinals, doves, blackbirds, and some sort of yellow and black feathered bird that resembles a finch.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 11:47PM
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Joeray(Z9 LA)

The squirrels have got all my LSU Gold figs. They've never gotten close to ripening; the varmits knock them off and chew on them before they get to that stage. My tree is too tall to cover this year but I plan to cut it down to size and cover next year.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 12:50AM
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Great story Gene. I have been planning on making some movable cages out of PVC pipe and galvanized chicken wire. I think it may work better than netting.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 1:27AM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Oh, my goodness, Gene! They're scary intelligent. I told you they were little feathered thugs and they are. You need to put some electric wiring around the netting! Just a low jolt, maybe?

My netting, it isn't taut. Is yours? I left a bunch at the bottom of each side and it gets rolled inside of the edging. It would be easy for the birds to get tangled in and they don't like that. You could always lay 2 x 4s over the piled netting at the bottom, if need be. I have white cuphooks on my uprights that I hook the netting on, again--Piled so that the birds would have a hard time getting in and so would squirrels. I used PVC with a larger diameter, but a smaller diameter would be all right for drilling holes for the hooks. My frame and netting is a real "contraption" but so far, it's worked. At first the hooks were for holding up the netting when I was either picking, or Mike was weed-eating/mowing, but I've found them to be real convenient for pinning the netting to.

That's not to say that one of something won't find a way in, but our birds are not as blatant as yours are and they don't run in gangs. That's amazing.

My PVC is way too stiff to make hoops out of, but we used pipe els and they are screwed together so we can take the pieces apart for non-fig season. Works for us.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 2:39AM
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genecolin(Zone 9, LA)

Here are the figs I've been fighting the birds over. Bought as a LSU Gold but it's not. Linda and I find it a very good sweet fig with a fair amount of flavor. Compared to my LSU Gold I found the (not) better this morning though I must say the the true LSU Gold was a little over ripe. The (not) were sweeter and more fig flavored. Here are some pictures and if anyone has any idea about the name of this fig please let me know.

LSU Gold front and center

There are three types of leaves, 2 as pictured 3 ane 5 lobed and heart shaped.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 8:48AM
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The birds are a real pita this year. Those mockingbirds will find a way inside of the netting if there is any weakness in the draping. The birds in my yard will actually walk around on top of the netting and use their weight to depress the netting close to any ripe fig that they see inside......then they simply eat the fig right through the netting.

Gene, are any of the cut figs in the above picture your LSU Gold (not)? Is there any pink coloration in the pulp of any of those figs?


    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 9:41AM
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Gene, I'm having the same problem with the birds. I've never seen so many birds as this year.Probably because they have never had so many figs to eat. The worst offenders are the Blackbirds,followed by the Mockingbirds. I see doves in the trees too, but they seem to just be cleaning up what the others ruined. I'm glad you finally got your enclosure secure. That LSU Gold-not is a nice looking fig---glad it's good, too. Now if it'll quit this incessant raining, maybe I can enjoy some of my Adriatics? that are just starting to ripen. They are so good when it's dry, but it doesn't look like the forecast is going to cooperate.! Looks like it's going to be "splitsville" around here. Waaaaaaaa! Tim

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 11:22AM
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genecolin(Zone 9, LA)

Dan they are all my (nots) except the one LSU Gold in the front and center, the flattened one. It's a true LSU Gold.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 12:18PM
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