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The best way to grow marijuana is by growing outdoors because of several advantages. You do not have to spend money on setting up and operating an indoor grow room – which could be costly. Even the most expensive artificial lights cannot match the entire color spectrum of the sun. Your journey and more so for the plants, however, is not a bed of roses. In their natural environment, the plants are exposed to other dangers – one of which are birds. Make no mistake about it. These predators will come after your seeds, and it is incumbent upon you to keep them safe.
Growing outdoors is not merely a matter of avoiding the start-up and running costs required indoors. These plants grew naturally in an environment where they have thrived for thousands of years. They have since developed defenses against pests and diseases. Modern hybrids, in particular, are also tolerant of climatic changes. Apart from evolution, breeders also manipulated genetics, incorporating the genes responsible for better growth patterns and traits.
No matter how much more resistant and resilient the plants are, though, they remain susceptible. Insects and pathogens can strike at any time, the weather can turn for the worse. Some birds are particularly fond of hemp seeds to compound your woes, which includes your precious marijuana plants.
There is a silver lining here, though, so this issue of birds attacking your plants may not even be a concern – unless you have females producing seeds. If anything, these animals are also beneficial as they prey on insects, bugs, and other critters – caterpillars included – that harm the plants in different ways.
The Problematic Birds
Not all kinds of birds are dangerous. Of concern are game birds, and some of them are particularly fond of marijuana seeds. If you are growing from seeds, the last thing you want is to leave them unprotected. Once they sprout and enter the seedling stage, they will be left alone. If you have some plants producing seeds later on, then that is when they become vulnerable again.
Knowing the types of birds that fly around in the local area where you plan to grow marijuana is a big plus. In particular, some of the species you want to be wary of include, but not limited to these:
- Common Linnet (Linaria cannabina)
- European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur)
- Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
- House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
- Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
- Northern Bobwhite, Virginia Quail, or Bobwhite Quail (Colinus virginianus)
- Passenger Pigeon or Wild Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius)
What Are the Signs of Bird Attack?
In the city, as long as there are trees, there are birds. Out in the open, you can expect more of them. Now, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear them chirping in early mornings? But if you are in for the buds, all you have to do is make sure the seeds are protected while germinating. The same also goes for young sprouts as there is no telling if they will be uprooted.
Once your female marijuana plants start producing seeds, they are in danger of being attacked. Understandably, you may not be able to identify all the bird species flying around. So, the prudent thing to do is assume that they are there waiting and ready to ambush when you least expect them.
If in case your plants are exposed, unprotected, you will know there is trouble if you see these signs:
- Catching them red-handed. If you spot them eating or stealing your seeds, then you know something must be done to stop them from coming close to the plants again.
- You may not have seen the birds coming after your plants. As a matter of due diligence, you not only have to inspect the plants for signs of trouble. A quick look in the vicinity could provide you with a visual clue of birds coming close. In particular, you may notice some droppings. If so, then you know precautionary measures are required.
- If you notice missing seeds, then something is wrong. Although birds are the likely culprit in an open area, be mindful that it could be due to other animals, too. Nonetheless, you would need to start thinking of preventive measures.
How to Stop Birds from Coming After Your Seeds
Before you start any of these anti-bird protective measures, consider the importance of privacy or discreteness. These are highly visible and may alert passers-by of your activities. As long as you are compliant with the regulations in place governing marijuana cultivation, it should not be a problem.
At any rate, you also may not want to jump the gun and assume that birds are the culprit, not until you have confirmation. Although there is no harm in putting any of these measures in place, you also do not want to lose more seeds if in case it was some other creatures which are responsible.
Yes, a scarecrow, just like people have done for millennia, comes to mind. For some reason, it works – which is why farmers today still put them up in their fields. Instead of spending time looking for one in a store, you could make them yourself. All you need are some wooden sticks, old clothes or rags, a hammer, and nails. Use your imagination to make one and position them near your marijuana plants.
If you are too lazy, an alternative would be the Bird-X Prowler Owl. This lifelike predator decoy is a replica of the great horned owl in plumage and hunting flight pose. Beautiful to look at, they are intimidating to birds. Just the sight of its glossy eyes would send them birds flying off to other directions – anywhere else but near your plants.
You could also take it to the next level. Ohuhu Horned Owl Decoy has a wind-control 360° rotating head that helps scare away birds. But there’s more. Any bird that passes by within 9 feet is bound to trigger its light sensor, causing the decoy to tweet three times. Sure, you do have to spend a little on AA batteries, but who cares as long as it keeps the birds away?
2. Reflective Material
You can spread any reflective materials and shiny objects on tree branches or fences near the plants. Tin cans, pie pans, CDs or DVDs, are some that you could use. While it makes your garden look messy, they are nonetheless effective bird deterrents. The more of these you place, the safer the marijuana plants will be.
If the sight of these materials is offensive to you, then you could try BriteNWAY Bird Deterrent Reflective Scare Tape. This non-toxic, reflective iridescent bird diverting tape is easy to use. All you need to do is to cut it into strips and place them around your marijuana plants. Just like that and you are not likely to have problems with those feathered fiends.
Instead of scaring away birds and other seed thieves, you could try to cover the plants with Dalen Bird-X Protective Netting. This mesh is made of durable polypropylene material with UV inhibitors. AgFabric Bird Netting for Garden is another you could use.
4. Bird Feeder
Another tactic you could use to keep birds away from the seeds is to divert their attention. One way of doing that is by putting up a bird feeder and providing eye, barley, or oat seeds. Place it in your garden, not too close to the plants. So, instead of them scrounging for seeds, they have food to feast on.
Easy to Stop Birds from Eating Marijuana Seeds
Birds are only a concern if you put seeds directly onto the soil in an open area. Other than that, they are also a problem if you are producing cannabis seeds. That being the case, preventing them from wreaking havoc is easy. You can scare them away, divert their attention, or make a barrier using bird netting.
These preventive measures are quite easy to implement. Once you confirm that birds are causing problems, you know what to do.