'Aggressive' birds feasting on grapes at P.E.I. winery

·1 min read
The winery has started to place these nets over its grape vines as to prevent crops from being eaten by 'aggressive' birds. (Submitted by John Rossignol - image credit)
The winery has started to place these nets over its grape vines as to prevent crops from being eaten by 'aggressive' birds. (Submitted by John Rossignol - image credit)

Large flocks of thousands of starlings have been stirring up trouble at the Rossignol Winery in Little Sands, P.E.I.

Winery owner John Rossignol says the birds have been targeting the winery's grapes for about 10 years, but that recently they've become a huge nuisance.

He said the birds have probably eaten a third of his crops.

"At first it wasn't a big issue, but as the crop matures, the birds just arrive at the right time," Rossignol said.

"They test the crop, you know, over a period of a week or two, and once they decide it's time to eat they'll come in in flocks of thousands of birds."

Bill Perks
Bill Perks

Rossignol said the winery has been trying different ways to keep their crops safe from the birds.

"We started experimenting with some lightweight netting, but the birds are very aggressive, so we probably will have to invest over the next several years in a heavier grade of netting to try and keep them away," he said.

Despite the bird problem, Rossignol said that the winery had a great growing season this year.

"We had a nice mix of weather, with just the perfect balance, really," he said. "The vines were lush and green and quite healthy this year."

Once the birds hone in on a food supply, they seem to remember that each year, he noted.

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