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Protecting blackbirds nest from cats

(7 Posts)
Acinonyx Thu 03-Apr-14 12:05:01

We have birds nesting in our garden. Our cat has already done away with the first brood sad and they have started a new nest in a different part of the garden. The nest is quite well placed inside a tall bush but there is another low tree branch forking up outside the opening and I'm sure a cat could get up in there.

Keeping our cat in is not really an option and in any case he defends the garden against other cats who will just come in instead.

I was wondering about repellent granules - if that's OK with the birds. Not sure it will be a strong enough deterrent and also we are going away end May.

I wondered about putting foil around the tree branch but I'm worried that will attract magpies who are such a menace to bbirds. What do you think?

Any other ideas or expereince? I can't do anything too close to the nest now obviously although she won't have laid yet. I know this is nature red in tooth and claw but I'd really like to see one brood through if I can!

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 03-Apr-14 13:50:34

Could you make an obstacle to the (cat's) access points with use of brambles, sticky-uppy skewers etc etc? We do this.

We have had similar - successive generations of blackbirds nesting in the garden, in stupidly-accessible places. I think our cat is now too old to hunt, so this year will be the first that I have not had to do this. I tried with foil, but the birds didn't like it either.

Acinonyx Thu 03-Apr-14 16:07:19

Oh thanks - good to know you tried the foil. I do have stakes in the herb beds (and chicken wire over the raised beds hmm). I will probably put some stakes around the access tree - but is a deep wide area. Alas, I think you can propbably just about get to the nest from the wall too hmm. It's a wonder blackbirds haven't died out since they seem eager to nest in cat-reachable places.

Our cat is 15 - I really thought (hoped) he was passed it - but apparently not....

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 03-Apr-14 18:08:37

15? Cripes! Mine are 12 and seem to be not bothered this year. Well, one was never bothered, but the other was blush.

Yep, we have chicken wire over the raised beds too. I raked them out today (the beds), so I am sure they must be seeming more attractive then ever...

Blackbirds are thick as mince, aren't they? I am sure that successive generations have nested in equally ridiculous spots in the garden. Surely Darwinism might suggest that they'd learn?

Acinonyx Thu 03-Apr-14 18:38:51

Somewhere, there must be naturally selected blackbirds nesting in secret places and keeping the species going.

TalkinPeace Thu 03-Apr-14 19:54:02

Collars with bells in season
water pistols aimed at ANY cat seen with a feather in its mouth
they learn that they get praised for killing rats and hassled for killing birds
even my thick lump of a cat is grasping that

Acinonyx Fri 04-Apr-14 08:44:19

He can't take a collar but I just bought a water pistol. I'm also thinking of putting some kind of plastic collar on the tree branch that goes past the nest to stop the cat climbing up. Must get it up before she lays. I'm on a mission.

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