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Scarecrows - The Oldest Form of Bird Control

Farmer with scarecrow and crow

Scarecrows are one of the more popular symbols of Fall and the harvest season. The origin of scarecrows dates back thousands of years, protecting ripening crops from birds. While we think of scarecrows as constructed of straw, are made of many things. Among the earliest scarecrows were men hired to roam fields, to scare birds. If your job is to scare way birds, YOU are a scarecrow. 

Scarecrows continue to be popular today, in many home gardens. They help to protect fruits and vegetables, as they begin to ripen. That's why scarecrows are so closely associated with the fall and harvest season, making them a popular symbol of Fall.

How to Make a Scarecrow

Did you Know? There are scarecrow festivals all over the country, most held in the Fall.

History of Scarecrows:

The first scarecrows were in Ancient Egypt, dating back over 3,000 years. They used scarecrows to protect wheat fields along the Nile river from quail. The Greeks, Romans, Japanese and many other cultures, used them to protect their crops, too. Many forms of scarecrows, from life-sized wooden carvings of scary men, to real-live humans were used. In the middle ages, Europeans believed scarecrows had special powers. Native Americans used scarecrows, to keep crows and other birds from their corn crops. 

Did You Know? The Scarecrow is a villain in some Batman movies.

How to Make a Scarecrow:

There is no right or wrong way to make a scarecrow.

Start with a long, garden stake or pole. It should have a pointed end, to push or pound into the ground. Add a shorter board or pole towards the top, to support and extend the scarecrow's arms. Use nails or rope, to fasten it to the long pole.

Take old, ragged pants and shirt. Stuff the pants with straw.

Now insert the long pole through one pant leg.

Put the shirt sleeves through the cross pole and button it up.

Now, stuff the shirt with straw. Then, tuck the shirt into the pants.

The head can be made of many things... use your imagination:

  • An old burlap bag, with a face painted on is common.
  • A small head-sized pumpkin with a face painted on.
  • A  pumpkin candy bucket from Halloween.

Add a straw hat, and you scarecrow is ready to scare away birds. Or, add it to your fall yard decorations.

The Most Famous Scarecrow: Without a doubt,  the most famous scarecrow  was in the Wizard of Oz (If only he had a brain). He was played by Ray Bolger, The farmhand "Hunk".

Related Topics:

Pumpkin Picking Tips

Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin Recipes

Scarecrow Trivia

Build a Scarecrow Day

Bird Control Pest Netting

Scarecrows were used for bird control for thousands of years. And, scarecrows are still used. However, garden nylon pest netting is  far more effective, efficient and easy to use. Controlling birds is a snap with this bird netting. Just place it on the tree, bush or plant, and birds are no longer a problem. Bird pest netting can be used on big and small plants. As a garden netting, it can be draped over your vegetables garden. It can completely wrap a cherry tree or blueberry bush. Commercial growers will sometimes set up a framework, and create a "roof" of bird pest netting across a large area.

Bird pest netting is very lightweight. You can set it on most crops without damage. Use caution when setting it on the tenderest of plants, like lettuce. For a more permanent cover, make a simple frame to set the netting on. Sun, rain and air circulation can enter and exit easily through the netting, helping to keep the plant healthy.

Look for three types of bird pest netting:

Pest Net Bag  Shrub Guard Pest Net Bags - Quick wrap ups for a bush or shrub. It's very popular for blueberry bushes. Simply roll it on, and your blueberries are secure. Roll it up a ways to harvest the fruit.

Pest Netting  Pest Netting Sheets - Pest netting sheet work well in the vegetable garden.  It comes in varying sizes. Simply drape it over your plants and the birds are shut out. It may not be practical in the flower garden, where the beauty of seeing the flowers is the reason of the garden. 

Bulk Pest Netting  Bulk Pest Netting - When you've got a big job, bulk bird netting is the solution. It's cheaper in bulk. If you have several bushes or trees to cover, you can cut pieces off the roll and save money.  

Related Topics:

More on Bird Netting and Frames

More on Pest Control - Bird and garden pest control, garden fencing, more.

About this Bird:
Baltimore Oriole
Black Capped Chickadee
Northern Cardinal
Purple Martin

Cooper's Hawk



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