Vandal Sparrows are eating my Holly Tree

  rawprawn 15:34 28 Aug 08

We have 2 large Victorian Holly Trees in our garden, which 30 years ago were cut into a mushroom shape to allow more light in. A flock of Sparrows has taken to "Sunning" themselves in the Male tree, and they have pecked off all the leaves on the sunny side in a circle about 2 meters in diameter.This has completely spoiled the look of the tree but I am not sure how I can keep them out without risking hurting them. I have ruled out netting, and at the moment I am trying to find a child's windmill to see if that will scare them off.
Any other ideas welcome

  crosstrainer 15:40 28 Aug 08

Tie some plastic bottles together on a short length of twine. Make several up, and tie them so that when the wind blows, they hit each other...Not loud enough to annoy the neighbours, but should deter the birds.

  rawprawn 15:47 28 Aug 08

Hi, thanks I will give that a try. It gives me a good excuse for a gin and tonic, then I can use the little tonic bottles;))

  crosstrainer 15:47 28 Aug 08

Ideal :))

  Shortstop 15:48 28 Aug 08

Old CDs on string spinning in the wind normally scares birds away from where I don't want them to be ....



  rawprawn 16:07 28 Aug 08

Another good idea!

  Coffee Adict 22:06 28 Aug 08

I find that rather odd behaviour for sparrows, they can be accused of tuneless chirping and hogging the nuts in winter, but not vandalism.

Have you inspected the leaves, is there any sign of disease or infestation, sparrows will pick greenfly and other such nasties off leaves and I suspect they are only taking advantage of another underlying problem.

I have a holly bush, and the leaves are virtually stemless and a healthy leaf I would have thought would be too much trouble for a sparrow to waste time on.

  Forum Editor 00:44 29 Aug 08

and buy a plastic owl. Put in it the tree, and the sparrows will avoid it like the plague. They would work it out eventually, but long before then they'll have lost interest in the tree.

  rawprawn 07:14 29 Aug 08

There is no underlying problem, you can see them at work stripping the leaves. I think one reason is that they feel safe in that particular tree. "Inside" the mushroom is a practically impenetrable tangle of branches,cats can't get through it (Quickly anyway)and they do like the warmth of the sun.

  rawprawn 07:17 29 Aug 08

That is an excellent idea, and instant. I shall pop down this morning.
It may also save me from alcoholism producing empty tonic bottles.
I will let you how I get on.

  rawprawn 09:12 29 Aug 08

I am having second thoughts about the owl, I think that the price in "Collateral" damage may be too high to pay.
We would lose all our birds, and perhaps some wildlife.
I think I will revert back to tonic bottles and see what the effect is.Good idea though.

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