What can I use to keep birds from eating my cherries before I have a chance to taste them. I tried pie plates, flags, etc. (anything shines). Even me standing on the ladder in the middle of branches they come to have their meal. And I look like a scarecrow, mind you. I know you'll have an answer to this problem. I notice other people are having the same trouble with cherry trees.
You can buy large nets to put over the tree. If the tree is large, you can just drape it over the top. The birds are fearful of the netting (getting caught in it) and will avoid the tree--or at least the part with netting. If your garden store doesn't have it, look at a store that has koi pond products. (The netting is also used to keep leaves and herons out of ponds.)
Without money to spend on nets, I decided to go lo-tech. I borrowed some stuffed animals from my kids (anything with eyes) and hung them in various branches of my cherry trees. It was amazingly effective. I highly suggest any cat-like stuffed animals (I had a stuffed tiger and the birds sounded their alarm chirp when I perched it on top of the ladder).
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Any suggestions on how to keep birds from eating the cherries before they are ripe?