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Trying to beat those birds at their own game!!
I have been having a lot of trouble with hungry birds scratching up and eating seedlings and seeds. I have lost countless pea seeds to them. I don't know whether this is because there is not enough natural food to sustain them or perhaps it is the time of the year when they are feeding many ravenous mouths or have they just cottoned on to where to find an easy meal!
I now am planting seedlings and seeds inside a tin can which has its bottom cut out. This creates a warm environment whilst providing protection from digging birds. Once the plant is established I can slide the can off the plant, or more often than not, just leave it on until the plant is ready to harvest. These cans have the extra bonus of providing a barrier to marauding slugs and snails and recycling a common material.
I have also made some very niffty bird scarer's out of Paua shells and bamboo canes. Not only do they work but they look good in the garden!