Berries, birds and my large picture windows are not a healthy combination. Come to think of it, the birds have flown kamikaze into the small transom windows too. Every Fall it's the same thing. And THE NOISE...

I have been startled by the sound of birds flying into the windows so badly that I yelped like a little kid. It's just plain scary because it's so damn loud.

There are actually two different ways that your neighborhood birds may become intoxicated and either become lethargic or attempt to "fly under the influence".

Some birds may gorge on fermented berries such as blackberries or juniper berries. (I've NEVER seen an animal eat a juniper berry but that's what several universities have stated.)

Birds also love your crabapple trees and you'll find them poking at unpicked apples until the very end of the season. Those crabapples can be the source of their loadedness too.

A few years back, a small town in Minnesota had so many birds acting completely bonkers that dozens of people called the police. Flocks of birds were flying into windows, cars and even (accidentally) dive bombing people.

What can you do about it? In my experience, not much. The 'remedies' on the internet are not effective or practical in my opinion. You'll find everything from hanging flashy things like CDs from strings in your window to spraying the culprit berries with mild dish soap. Please.

Here's what has worked for me: We trimmed back the weird tree/bush with the red berries quite a bit because we didn't really need or want that particular plant anyway. I also made a really good effort to harvest as many berries as I could (we have 2 chokecherries in the back.) Friends and neighbors helped themselves to as many crabapples as they could pick, just to avoid having 'fermented fruit' sitting on the tree.

Doing all of the backyard tidying certainly improved the situation and lessened the frequency of the bird suicide missions into the windows. But still, once a week or so a bird scares the buh-jeez-us out of me.

Berries - Michelle Wolfe
Bird in tree - Michelle Wolfe

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