Charlie Veneros, a grower in Michigan, reports successful bird control in his three acres of grapes (and another 3 acre site owned by Nick Koklarnis) using surplus computer tape pulled taught on line posts 6" to 12" above the canopy. If you find a cooperative owner of a larger computer system that uses tape (your friendly banker is a good place to start) you may be able to supply your needs at no cost.
Charlie got this idea from strawberry growers in his area. Two years ago, he lost most of his crop to birds. Since he started using the tape, loss has been negligible.
Computer tape has one silver, reflective side. When pulled taught, it twists and flashes in the wind and sunlight (although Charlie reports that it works just as well on cloudy days). Because it is magnetic, computer tape may possess bird repellent qualities over and above those of the commercially available mylar tape. It also emits a strange sound in a slight breeze (if pulled taught).
In addition to the installation described above, both 3 acre vineyard blocks are enclosed in tape stretched taught about two feet off the ground. This arrangement may not be necessary for other growers who do not share their community with wild turkeys. But, for Charlie and Nick, something had to be done about these grape loving trespassers. If it works for turkeys, which are "dumb like a fox," we think the magnetic quality of the tape might have something to do with its value as a repellent.
Our thanks go out to Charlie Veneros for sharing this idea.
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