We have 2 large Victorian Holly Trees in our garden, which 30 years ago were cut into a mushroom shape to allow more light in. A flock of Sparrows has taken to "Sunning" themselves in the Male tree, and they have pecked off all the leaves on the sunny side in a circle about 2 meters in diameter.This has completely spoiled the look of the tree but I am not sure how I can keep them out without risking hurting them. I have ruled out netting, and at the moment I am trying to find a child's windmill to see if that will scare them off. Any other ideas welcome
Tie some plastic bottles together on a short length of twine. Make several up, and tie them so that when the wind blows, they hit each other...Not loud enough to annoy the neighbours, but should deter the birds.
I find that rather odd behaviour for sparrows, they can be accused of tuneless chirping and hogging the nuts in winter, but not vandalism.
Have you inspected the leaves, is there any sign of disease or infestation, sparrows will pick greenfly and other such nasties off leaves and I suspect they are only taking advantage of another underlying problem.
I have a holly bush, and the leaves are virtually stemless and a healthy leaf I would have thought would be too much trouble for a sparrow to waste time on.
There is no underlying problem, you can see them at work stripping the leaves. I think one reason is that they feel safe in that particular tree. "Inside" the mushroom is a practically impenetrable tangle of branches,cats can't get through it (Quickly anyway)and they do like the warmth of the sun.
I am having second thoughts about the owl, I think that the price in "Collateral" damage may be too high to pay. We would lose all our birds, and perhaps some wildlife. I think I will revert back to tonic bottles and see what the effect is.Good idea though.