LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — My friend, Roberta Webb, who raises pecans commercially on a ranch near Lubbock, Texas, thinks she has the solution to my black bird problem.
She said crows were once stealing as many as 30 pounds of nuts per crow from her pecan groves until she mounted several big plastic owls atop 20 foot sections of PVC pipe and placed them around the trees and now the crows won’t come near because they’re afraid the owls will get them.
I have two rows of late bodacious sweet corn just starting to tassel. I also have two big great-horned plastic owls in the mail and I’ve already been to Lowe’s where I purchased two 12-foot sections of two-inch PVC.
I figure that once I get my pipes in the ground, my owls will still be 10 feet high and well above my sweet corn which only grows to about seven feet tall. The owls are supposed to be 26 inches tall and look very intimidating. Sunlight or the slightest breeze is supposed to make them move around and twist their heads and they’re supposed to scare off black birds and rabbits as well, which would make them serve the ultimate dual purpose. I’d be hard put upon to tell you which I hate more; black birds or rabbits.
I forgot to ask Roberta if the owls kept squirrels out of her pecans because I would have thought squirrels to be more of a problem than crows to a nut grower.
Anyway, I figure if the owls don’t work in my corn patch, they’ll give all the neighbors something to talk about and provide photo-ops for people who occasionally drive up Charlie Brown Road just so they can say they’ve been here.
In the meantime, I have discovered I can’t shoot a shotgun because Mr. Parkinson makes it wobble too much to aim and, the couple of times I tried, I did almost as much damage to my sweet corn as the feathered vermin were doing. But I still managed to down three big starlings with one shot when about a hundred of them flew off in a swarm when they saw me coming. I couldn’t have missed them if I’d been blind folded.