Plastic netting to protect fruit and vegetable crops kills birds every year. Wings, legs, feathers and beak can be damaged, the bird can suffocate, be attacked by an animal or simply get stuck and die of starvation. It is a terrible death!
If you still want to protect your berries, build a wooden frame with plaster net on it. You can easily put it away when it is not needed and it lasts for many years. If your budget is limited, you can use an old curtain, but remember to pay attention to whether the meshes are of a size that prevents birds from getting stuck in them. It is also safe for birds to use rigid metal aviary net. Polythene net, despite its popularity, can be a hazard if it has been improperly tensioned.
If you use strings (e.g. to tie up tomatoes), make sure that you remove them when the season is over. Birds in spring gather various materials for nesting and such material can be a danger to chicks. When a thread gets wrapped around a leg it can lead to ischaemia and eventually necrosis of the limb. Not only does such a bird have little chance of survival in the wild, but once returned to captivity it could most likely be put to sleep.
Fat balls – winter feeding
If you want to open a winter bird canteen, take care of their safety first. The popular fat balls sold in plastic nets can pose a great danger, as a bird can get caught, as can garden protecting nets. Fortunately, more and more safe feeders are available. Although fat balls are mainly posted for tits, corvids also like to eat them.
Water for birds
Birds will be more likely to visit your garden if you put a wide and shallow vessel filled with fresh water there. They will be able to quench their thirst and take a bath. Remember that the vessel must not be too deep.