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Ptah

(33,166 posts)
Thu Apr 25, 2024, 08:19 PM Apr 25

When my sunflowers reach about two or three feet, they get attacked.

I have House Sparrows, Finches, Gila Woodpeckers, Mourning Doves and Pigeons most of the year.

When the sunflowers start to mature, I see Chickadees.
Is there any way to stop the damage the Chickadees do?

16 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
When my sunflowers reach about two or three feet, they get attacked. (Original Post) Ptah Apr 25 OP
Chickadees go for the seeds in the flower head, not leaves. apcalc Apr 25 #1
Since I have seen Chickadees eating the leaves, Ptah Apr 25 #3
Evidence: Ptah May 9 #15
cloaking device? Tetrachloride Apr 25 #2
Does Amazon offer a good deal? Ptah Apr 25 #4
Plant more? Dear_Prudence Apr 25 #5
You need a great big bird feeder usonian Apr 25 #6
Hot peppers codfisherman Apr 26 #7
I'm pretty sure most birds don't react to capsicum like mammals do. sl8 Apr 26 #8
Interesting Kali Apr 26 #9
I like your idea of shiny things. Ptah Apr 28 #10
ha! Kali Apr 28 #11
Maybe a scarecrow to deter birds? Emile May 1 #12
That looks like insect damage not chickadee damage. The birds are more than likely eating the insects Botany May 5 #13
From an informative post about Goldfinches vs sunflowers. Ptah May 9 #14
Thisltle socks codfisherman May 9 #16

apcalc

(4,466 posts)
1. Chickadees go for the seeds in the flower head, not leaves.
Thu Apr 25, 2024, 08:26 PM
Apr 25

Something is eating your leaves. I have grown sunflowers and have never once seen chickadee interest in anything but the mature flower head.

Dear_Prudence

(504 posts)
5. Plant more?
Thu Apr 25, 2024, 09:28 PM
Apr 25

I googled 'birds eating sunflower leaves' and found lots of discussions. Apparently the leaves are nutritious during breeding season. There were lots of suggestions like mesh covering the plant, but I liked 'plant more sunflowers' the best. I love my sunflowers and will be distressed if my birds start picking up this bad habit.

usonian

(11,135 posts)
6. You need a great big bird feeder
Thu Apr 25, 2024, 09:55 PM
Apr 25
in the neighbor's yard!!!

Good luck.

I guess the same could apply to delicious vegetation, but I never knew salad-loving birds.

My neighbor has a feeder refilled daily.

codfisherman

(89 posts)
7. Hot peppers
Fri Apr 26, 2024, 08:53 AM
Apr 26

Not even sure if it'll work but steep dried hot peppers in water. Maybe add a little soap to help adhesion and spray it on the leaves. Neem oil might also work, just don't use it when flowering. Sparkle tape tied around the plant might scare them away.

sl8

(15,279 posts)
8. I'm pretty sure most birds don't react to capsicum like mammals do.
Fri Apr 26, 2024, 08:59 AM
Apr 26

Hence the common advice to add hot pepper to your bird feeders to discourage the squirrels.

There are some videos out there of squirrels sampling "hot" bird seed. They really don't like it at all.

Kali

(55,244 posts)
9. Interesting
Fri Apr 26, 2024, 11:03 AM
Apr 26

It really looks like insect damage. Could the birds be after the bugs? If it is birds I guess you can try the usual anti bird garden tricks - netting, shiny things that move in the breeze, etc.

Botany

(71,124 posts)
13. That looks like insect damage not chickadee damage. The birds are more than likely eating the insects
Sun May 5, 2024, 06:16 PM
May 5

….that are on the leaves. Cut the old beaten up leaves off the plant, keep the plant watered,
and spray the new leaves with a deer or rabbit repellent or a very very dilute insecticide…. The plant
will push new leaves. If you watch the plant closely you’ll more than likely to see some kind of
caterpillar or worm on it. The damage from what I can tell is cosmetic. Spraying the plant with
H2O might knock some of the critters off of it.

codfisherman

(89 posts)
16. Thisltle socks
Thu May 9, 2024, 06:56 PM
May 9

I used to put out thistles in a mesh sock to feed finches and chicadees. Maybe put a thistle feeder nearby. Might also plant some of the native plants they feed on. You could also put a tall tomato cage covered with netting over them till they get too tall. Have fun and at least enjoy them for being happy pretty little birds.

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