Bird Pressure at Featherstone

Birds exert a pressure on grapes – just like mildew and mold do.  Birds, like mildew, represent a potential threat that could be a huge influence on the grape crop if left unchecked.  We have found bird pressure to be seasonal and some years are worse than others.

Nuisance birds, like starlings, fly by and often stop for a meal. They take fruit but they also damage fruit and leave it. Damaged fruit is actually worse than ‘no fruit’ because the damaged grapes attract fruit flies and this, in turn, encourages rot.

Bird Control Strategies

We try not to let birds settle in. If a resident population is established, others are attracted.

  • Propane powered bird bangers: We have 4 bird bangers that are out in the vineyard by mid August.  The bangers are most effective on flock birds.
  • Battery powered bird distress recording ‘squawk-box’. Most effective with flock birds.
  • Netting is put on the grapes that may be left to hang for Icewine and Select Late Harvest dessert wine. The Pinot Noir is also netted because it is closest to the woods and suffers badly from bird damage.
  • A raptor,  or bird of prey, is an effective deterrent on resident pest birds. The presence of a hawk in the vineyard is a natural deterrent to nuisance birds and capitalizes on the predator/prey relationship.

Any one of these control strategies alone is not completely effective. Some work better in certain years but all of them in combination are very effective.


Featherstone Estate Winery

3678 Victoria Avenue
Vineland, ON
Canada, L0R 2C0
Tel:(905) 562-1949

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