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The Only Time We Compete

This time of year is the only time we, the birds and us, compete for fruits in our garden.  We have wild cherry, ornamental cherry, white mulberry, wild raspberry, Golden raspberry, strawberry and blueberry on the property.  We gave up on the wild cherry since it’s  too tall for us to harvest; the birds always get the fruit first.  Our neighbor used to put a bed sheet under one of the trees but what she got was the left over from the birds.  We can only get the sweet, white mulberry from the lower branches but that’s enough.  This year there are so many fruits that the birds and squirrels have taken longer to clean them up.  So we are still picking mulberry.

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) enjoying white mulberry

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) enjoying white mulberry

A wet Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) looking for a ripe mulberry

A wet Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) looking for a ripe mulberry

American Robin (Turdus migrators) also joins the feast

American Robin (Turdus migrators) also joins the feast

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) looks more like a Christmas ornament among green leaves

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) looks more like a Christmas ornament among green leaves

Can't forget the Gray squirrel

Can’t forget the Gray squirrel

And the black squirrel

And the black squirrel

Wild raspberry has not yet ripened.  There will not be much fruit this year.  I removed many of them early in spring because they were getting too invasive.  Since there is no distraction now from the wild raspberry, I am more concerned with the Golden raspberry and am considering putting a net over them.  I will have to cover the blueberries before the fruit ripens as well.  The Gray Catbirds are pretty good at keeping their eye on the fruit.

We have been sharing strawberries this year since I have no time to cover them.  What ever the birds missed is our feast.

A pair of Cedar Waxwing on cherry tree

A pair of Cedar Waxwing on cherry tree

American Robin in the act of cherry picking

American Robin in the act of cherry picking

Competing for ripe fruits in the garden doesn’t make us enemies.  The birds still work the other part of the garden; picking off insects and grubs which are much more destructive to our garden.  Losing some fruit to them is a small price to pay for their service.