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Friday, 16 September 2016

The crow dilemma

The crows which inhabit our neighbourhood have found our grapes. 

 

Some of the juicy morsels are ripe and they are a huge attraction to the feathered culprits. Yesterday, as I sat in the living room engrossed in a book, I noticed a crow stood on the patio rail. He stared downward where the grapes are situated. "Villain," or something less civil I said as I headed out to shoo it away.

Before long it was back. This time when I opened the gate on the deck, there were six or seven crows stood around the grape vine, 

 

like a gang ready to pounce or a group of people in talks about a problem as they observed the situation. They were reluctant to leave too. These berries present a challenge to the crows because they cannot hover like humming birds. Crows are very intelligent however, and I don't hold out much hope for our juicy morsels.

 

Even now, the vine shows their efforts at the harvest. 

 

This crow managed to rest on the drain pipe as it munched on our grapes. Elsewhere, it tore back one branch with its efforts. 

 

Meanwhile, my meagre efforts to save the grapes which I have nurtured all season, include the placement of two decorative scarecrows which I usually place at the front of the house before Thanksgiving. It won't be long before the crows figure them out!

 
                                               The price tag is the give-away with this one!

My mother-in-law felt sorry for the crows in her neighbourhood here after one especially difficult winter and fed them. She lived in a garden apartment and shared a patio deck with her neighbours, but a wall divided the deck in two. Crows knew and watched for her. They didn't make any mess on her side of the deck but watched from the neighbour's side where they did their business. My MIL closed her soup kitchen.

 

Meanwhile, though we can be sentinels against the crows while we are home, I imagine them perched in their roosts in the neighbourhood trees as they wait for the car to drive away from the house. "I have this figured out, guys. Follow me. Grapes for breakfast," our villain says as the car drives out of sight.

Let's face it, the grapes are history.

22 comments:

  1. Couldn't you net them? It seems the only way to save your grapes for yourself. Sigh. Your scarecrows need to be meaner! :-)

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    1. My scarecrows are useless. I watched the birds sat on rhe fence next door for the longest time watching the scarecrows and the vines. Then they moved in after the figured out what was there. I should just pick the grapes and put them out for the birds! I can't encourage them though.

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  2. Yeah, good luck trying to outsmart crows!!!

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    1. I know. Smart creatures. If they are a problem here, there are people with licenses who will come and shoot at them. The crows move away then. I could never do that to them though.

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  3. I was going to suggest a net too.
    I was drinking my early morning coffee on the deck this morning and all I could hear was crows! It seemed that there were 2 crow interlopers who were invading the local crow family's territory and a huge verbal battle was going on..... good thing I don't speak crow or I would have heard some very bad words.

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    1. They are territorial and they do recognize us. They'll know me as the woman shaking her fist at them! Lol.

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  4. Corvids, especially crows,are extremely intelligent. Unless you wrap the grapes in ballerina netting, and even that might not work, you are going to miss most of your harvest.

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  5. Your grapes are so beautiful and healthy! Darn that crow! We have crows around here lately also. But my squirrels and birds ate every single grape on my vine even before they ripened. (red grapes, while still green) I did try netting them one year. And would you know...they found ways in. Squirrels, especially, can easily eat through anything, even heavy plastic or metal (yes metal even) garbage cans. Netting might work if you really were able to somehow nail it down very, very well! Otherwise, you have to give up, and just plant more grapes and hope you can get some while sharing! Andrea

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    1. Lol. I always think in these situations how fortunate I am if my greatest concern is keeping the birds away from the grapes!

      I will tackle the problem differently next year!

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  6. Probably your only hope was to net them last spring. They'll work it out for the current harvest.

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    1. The grapes are a write-off. I'll get some netting for next year.

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  7. Yup. Your grapes are gone.
    I do like crows though. Intelligent family minded thieves.

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    1. They are smart for sure. They talk to one another I think.

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  8. Sorry about your grapes! But they are not crows, they are grackles. If the light hits them the right way you can see dark purples and greens in their head (look closely at your 2nd grackle picture). And they have that beady eye that crows don't have.

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  9. Thanks Karen. To everyone here they are crows. They seemed a tad small for crows to me and I noticed the iridescence of their heads. Nuisances after our grapes whatever they are.

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  10. I wonder if streamers hanging from the branches would have any effect. This is when you need a ferocious chihuahua that will charge out there and protect your grapes.

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  11. Lol. I need to borrow such a pooch!

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  12. Apparently, your grapes are something to crow about.

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  13. Back in the old days, our parents would take little mini pie pans (think from pot pies), and poke a hole in them, and then with a small amount of string or yarn, hang them to scare off birds. They see their shiny reflection, and stay away.

    and LOL at Anvil's pun. :)

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  14. I think Crows are smarter than we are. Good luck. Catbirds have been enjoying my strawberries. Of course, I plant them for the catbirds.

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