1- How to protect grapes from birds? Drive away birds.
The presence of flocks of birds in the vineyards at the end of the season can be a real headache for the winegrower, and can cause significant economic losses after a year of effort and dedication (Anderson et al., 2013).
Although it is considered that the direct loss of grapes is lower (birds consume a low number of grapes completely), the greatest damage results from the pecks that birds make on healthy fruits to consume their juice.
These pecks open the door to numerous diseases and pests (such as certain types of molds -ex .: Botrytis cinerea-) that can cause significant losses in crop yield and fruit quality (Jacometti et al., 2010).
How to protect grapes from birds: Although bird control measures can start with good vineyard planning (avoiding planting our vines in migration corridors and near tree areas, light poles and other elements that serve as places resting the birds) , this measure is not usually possible in many cases, and it is usually necessary to carry out a series of strategies in the place where the problem occurs.
Thus, there are many strategies to keep birds away from our vineyards , the most common being the use of nets and the use of deterrent measures that scare away these annoying neighbors.
2- Dissuasive measures. How to prevent birds from eating grapes .
2.1. Bird nets: Most effective for protecting grape bunches.
The use of nets for birds is the most effective way to avoid the attack of birds (Figure 1).
There are different types of nets , including those capable of completely covering the row of vines and those that only cover the area of the canopy where the clusters are found.
Likewise, there is a great variety in terms of the types of material used and mesh size, so that the winegrower has a wide variety of networks to be able to choose and adapt the product to his personal need.
Bird nets, although this is the most effective method, is often expensive and time consuming.
✅ Buy here the net to protect your grapes
2.2. Bags to protect bunches from birds
Other widely used protection measures are bunch bags. It consists of wrapping the bunch with a bag. This bagging technique is widely used in the Vinalopó Valley.
The bagging of the grapes will influence us in this way:
- You will protect the bunches, not only from birds but also from wasps and insects.
- It will delay the ripening of the grape.
- A more uniform color will be achieved .
The varieties that are most practiced in bagging as a professional technique are Aledo, Italia and Moscatel, but in the case of wanting to protect the grape it can be used with any variety.
✅ Bags to protect grapes
Below we propose 4 types of bags for grapes , tested by us, that will help us protect our vines. You can make the purchase here through Amazon.
2. Deterrents. Bird protection systems
How to protect grapes from birds: There is a wide range of bird protection systems on the market . Among them it is worth highlighting:
These devices (which normally run on butane or propane gas) produce detonations with a sound such that they are able to scare away the birds in the vineyard (Figure 2).
The frequency and intensity of the detonations can be regulated according to the severity of the case.
✅ Buy here the gas cannon to scare away birds
Sound electronic devices:
Similar in concept to the previous one, they emit sounds on a regular basis capable of driving away birds .
Some have the advantage of being able to connect to solar batteries, which gives some independence.
✅ Buy the sound bird repeller here
Certain pilot tests have shown that the use of birds of prey (owls, hawks) significantly reduces the number of grapes affected by birds compared to vineyards without hawks
Similar to the use of raptors, unmanned aerial platforms that fly over the vineyard have proven to be an effective measure to scare away birds (Grimm et al. 2012).
3- More information about the installation of nets to fight birds:
How to Protect Grapes from Birds: In the Vineyard – Installing Bird Netting