15 Actionable Tips to Stop Birds Eating Your Grass Seed!

how to stop birds eating grass seed

We all love having different birds visiting our garden. We enjoy watching them flitting around and listening to their varied songs. But, what about when you’re trying to establish a new lawn area? How do you keep the birds from eating your grass seed?

Luckily, there are various things you can do to stop the birds from eating all your grass seeds. These include covering the area, using decoys to scare the birds away and offering an alternative food source for them so they leave your grass seed alone.

Let’s look at all the different methods in more detail.

1. Use Coated Seeds

Certain grass seeds have a coating that has an unpleasant taste for birds. This coating doesn’t harm the birds but it deters them from eating the seed. However, these seeds do take longer to germinate and so your grass will take longer to grow.

You could also try mixing these coated seeds with some normal grass seed. This will help to get better and faster germination rates and will help to establish your lawn much quicker.

2. Try Special Absorption Seeds

Also available are absorption seeds. These seeds are designed to quickly absorb moisture which results in super fast germination. This means that, many times, the seeds will germinate before the birds have a chance to eat them.

The only drawback is that these seeds are usually more expensive. Therefore, you could try mixing them with some normal grass seeds as the faster germinating seeds will provide some cover to hide the ones that take a little longer to germinate.

3. Cover The Seed With Straw

The best thing you can do for your grass seed is to rake it into the soil. This provides both cover for your seeds and also gives them great contact with the soil to aid in faster germination.

However, this may not be possible if you are going to seed a very large area. In this case, you should consider providing an alternative cover for your seeds so that birds find it more difficult to discover your seeds.

The best material to use is straw. Being quite a light material, the straw does allow both moisture and sunlight through to allow the seeds to germinate efficiently. Once the seeds have started to germinate, it’s a good idea to remove most of the straw so that the new seedlings can grow.

The only problems with straw is that it can blow away if you live in an area that receives a lot of wind.

4. Cover The Area With Sheets Of Burlap

You could also consider covering the seeds with burlap sheets. Because of the loose weave, burlap allows sun and water through to the soil. If using burlap, remember to tie down the sheets with some pegs or wires at the edges to stop the wind from blowing them around. Once the seeds have germinated, you can remove the burlap.

The greatest benefit of using burlap is that the birds simply can’t see through the cover and so they won’t find your seeds.

5. Install Some Bird Netting Over The Area

If the area that you’re seeding is not too large, you can also consider covering it with some bird netting. Just make sure that you secure the netting well to stop it blowing around.

You can raise the netting a little over the seeded area by using some short garden stakes around the perimeter and then draping the netting over these. Just remember to remove the netting once the grass has started to grow to ensure that it gets plenty of sunlight.

6. Add Some Fake Bird Repellent Decoys

As we know, most seed-eating birds are fearful of predators such as eagles and owls. Consider adding a fake hawk or owl to the perimeter of your seeded area. You could even try a rubber snake or two. However, you have to remember to move the position of the decoys quite often, otherwise the birds will realize that they’re fake.

You can even get fake owls that have flashing eyes or heads that rotate. This all adds to the illusion and will definitely keep the birds away from your grass seeds.

7. Use Reflective Tape

Another thing that works really well to keep the birds away is reflective tape. When the sun hits these tapes, it hurts the birds’ eyes and so, they know to stay away from these. You can attach this tape to some posts that you’ve inserted around the perimeter of your newly seeded area.

Just make sure that it can flow freely in the breeze. Instead of the tape, you could also consider using aluminum foil trays or even old CDs.

8. Hang Some Wind Chimes

Any type of noise usually works to keep birds away. Wind chimes are excellent because they’ll also move in the breeze. Both the sound and the movement will keep birds away from your freshly seeded area. Plus, they’re pleasant to listen to as well.

9. Hang Some Old Tin Cans To Create Noise

Another way to deter birds from your grass seeds is to string some old tin cans together and hang them around the perimeter of your seeded area. These cans will provide enough noise to keep the birds at bay.

10. Use An Ultrasonic Bird Repeller

These units emit a high-frequency sound that is not audible to the human ear but can be very annoying to birds. They normally come with a stake that you just insert into the ground and can be very effective in keeping birds away from your grass seed.

11. Plant Extra Seeds

It makes sense that if you want a well-grassed area to scatter more seed than you need. This also allows for the possibility that some seeds won’t germinate at all and some may get blown away.

However, the biggest advantage to this is that if the birds do eat some of the seeds, you’ll still have plenty to get your lawn off to a good start.

12. Feed The Birds

This might sound obvious, but if you provide an alternative favorable food source for the birds, they’re much more likely to be attracted to this than to your grass seed.

Make sure you place the bird feeder well away from your newly seeded grass area and add lots of yummy bird seed that the birds will enjoy. The birds will find it much easier to get at the seeds in your feeder than trying to scavenge for grass seeds in the ground.

13. Install A Motion Sprinkler

If you install a motion sprinkler in your new lawn area, it will not only scare the birds away but it will ensure your grass seeds will get enough moisture to allow for good germination. Most of these motion-activated sprinklers also make noise, which is another way to scare the birds away.

14. Decorate The Area With Some Shiny Spiral Swirls

You can find these garden décor items at garden centers and local markets. Not only are they quite attractive, but the swirling motion and the shininess will keep the birds away from the area that you hang them.

15. Install A Small Decorative Windmill

Next time you visit your local garden center, check out all the decorative items available. You might find a small windmill that you can place near your new lawn area. In fact, any kind of whirligig type ornament will work well. Remember, you want something that makes a little noise and will create a reflection when the sun hits it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will birds eat coated grass seed?

Coated grass seeds have an unpleasant taste but they are not harmful to birds. However, they do germinate slower than regular seeds.

What deters birds from eating grass?

Raking in the seed or providing a light cover will make it more difficult for the birds to find the grass seed.

What do birds hate the most?

Birds generally stay away from shiny objects, strong smells and possible predators such as birds of prey.

Final Thoughts

It’s great to have many different birds visiting our gardens but this can be a problem if you’re trying to create a new lawn area and the birds keep stealing your grass seeds.

Fortunately, there are plenty of things that you can do to deter the birds away from your seeded area without harming them. Adding some sort of cover to your seeds works very well as the birds won’t be able to get to them.

You can also use some scare tactics such as fake owls, shiny tape or wind chimes to keep the birds away from your seeds. And, to keep the birds happy and your grass seeds protected, why not provide them with an easier food source. Installing a bird feeder or feeding station and providing the birds with lots of seed choices will have them happily eating at your feeders rather than foraging for grass seeds.

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