Sunday, October 23, 2016

Angry Birds Love The Grapes

So we've never had a problem with birds until this year. Most years we don't even see any around before or during harvest but this year we had a "malfunction" with the netting. In late September, just a few days before havest, we had some nasty winds that caused some some of the netting to dislodge from its position.and several row feet of Leon Millot got exposed that we did not see untill harvest.

Pretty much every year it is the wasps that give us grief and the netting keeps them at bay but with the grapes exposed this year it brought the birds in and they pretty much cleaned the exposed grapes off the exposed vines, picking nearly every grape from each cluster. Can see in the photos the clusters stripped on the grapes;
Where the netting was still covering the grapes the birds actually worked their way several feet down the trellis and took those grapes as well or severly damaged the clusters. The amazing part was how bold the bird were during harvest. We strip the nets off the trellis as we go and the birds were comming right in close in the row or sitting on the netting on the next row over squaking - obviously angry that we were taking the grapes they'd been feasting on.

I was surprised that the bulk of the birds were Robins, at least 7 or 8 of them, as Robins don't seem to pack up like that, they seem more solitary birds. There was also a a few dark birds (almost black in colour) bit bigger than a Robin with a tuff of feathers that stands up on its head.

Lesson learned, more dilligent in deploying the nets next year.