As a gardener, you enjoy spending time outdoors and the wildlife sightings that come with it. But sometimes, the songbirds will overstay their welcome at the backyard banquet, and when you worked hard in the garden, that can be problematic.

Crows are known for raiding veggie plots, taking corn, beans, and peas. Many birds will pull up tender seedlings, and bite off emerging buds. If you’re planning to grow fruit, that also can be a bird magnet. Robins, bluebirds, orioles and the Bohemian Waxwing will readily take samples of your apples, raspberries, strawberries, and grapes.

So how do you keep the birds from reaping your hard work without causing them harm?

  • Bird or butterfly netting can be draped over fruiting trees, shrubs or pulled taut over garden plots while fastened to tall stakes or garden hoops. This solution still lets in plenty of sunlight with wide enough gaps to let in pollinators. The downside to netting is birds and other creatures can get caught in the webbing, so make sure you’re checking your garden regularly.
  • Horticultural or garden fleece is a thin, lightweight cloth cover that’s often used to protect plants against damage from frost, wind and hail, but can also be used for protection against birds and other pests. Since these covers are light and can blow away easily, you’ll want to anchor these in place with stakes or rocks.
  • Pop up screens look a bit like an upside-down play pen. These structured enclosures of fine mesh can be placed right over a shrub or garden beds. (They’re also useful for keeping out rabbits and insects.)
  • Spook the birds with bird scare products, positioned around the garden area.
    • Reflective tape that flutters in the wind.
    • A bird terror ball, which is an inflatable that’s imprinted with images of menacing predator eyes.
    • Plastic owls and other fake predators can fake out the songbirds.
    • For an artful take, garden spinners and windchimes make sudden movements and sounds that send birds into takeoff mode.
    • Have any old CDs lying around that you no longer use? String them up and use them as bird reflectors!

Another easy way to keep birds out of your garden is to keep your feeders full with food that backyard birds love. Lyric Fruit & Nut High Energy Mix includes a gourmet blend of select fruits, seeds, and shell-free nuts, offering treats that will have birds drawn to your feeder instead of your garden.

Recycle your old, scratched CDs as reflectors and safely deter birds from your garden. Helin Loik-Tomson / iStock / Getty Images Plus