How to Keep Birds From Eating Grass Seed: 15 Tips to Save Your Seed

Nothing is more frustrating than watching your newly seeded lawn become the feeding grounds for the local bird population. Learn how to keep birds from eating grass seed to ensure that your hard work results in the beautiful lawn you desire.

How to keep birds from eating grass seed

Grass seed is a natural food for birds, as it is nutritious and generally easy for them to see and find. 

Today we are sharing the best tips and products to prevent birds from eating your grass seed.

Before we get started, you should know that one of the most important elements of seeding is good seed  to soil contact.  It is important to lightly cover or rake in your seed with about a ¼ inch of soil.

This will also give you the best opportunity for germination and keeps your seed out of direct sight for birds. It’s a great way to camouflage your seed so the birds don’t see it in the first place.

On top of encouraging you to practice good seed sowing principles our list will give you some ideas on how to protect your investment and newly planted grass from birds.

15 Tips to Keep Birds from Eating Your Grass Seed

Maybe you just planted your lawn seed and you’re disappointed to find that the birds are chowing down like they’re at The Hometown Buffet.

Or perhaps you’re the “plan ahead type” and you know that the birds are going to be an issue, so you want to do everything you can to make sure they do as little harm as possible.

Either way, what you need are some good ideas to protect your new lawn.

Here are some tips and tricks that many lawncare experts swear by:

1) Cover your seed with a light layer of soil.  This makes the seeds less visible to birds and ensures good seed to soil contact. 

2) Plant seed after aeration.  This will allow many seeds to fall into the aeration holes which would be out of reach for most birds.

3) Rent a slit seeder from your local equipment rental center.  With a slit seeder, seeds will be planted just beneath the surface in small holes making it difficult for birds to access.

4) Try covering your grass seed with peat moss.  Peat moss will help maintain moisture and improve germination while keeping seeds out of sight for birds.

5) Consider hydroseeding.  When seeds are applied with hydroseeding a tacky substance is used to help keep seeds in place.

6) Use a seeding blanket.  After you sow your seeds you can cover the area with a seeding blanket which will make it difficult for birds to access the seeds.

7) Cover your seed with a light layer of straw.  Straw will help maintain moisture and improve germination while keeping seeds out of sight for birds. Straw also works great for seeding on sloped areas where seed may wash out.

8) Burlap rolls. Similar to seed blankets, burlap rolls can be placed over your seeded area making it difficult for birds to access seeds.

9) Use a coated grass seed with a bird repellent.  Coated grass seeds are coated with fertilizers, fungicides and sometimes include bird repellent making the seeds undesirable to eat.

10) Install a motion activated sprinkler.  A motion activated sprinkler will automatically spray when movement is present which will give the birds the hint to move on.

11) Use bird scare rods.  These reflective twisting strings can be attached to garden stakes or trees and will often scare or confuse birds.

12) Scare the birds away with pinwheels. By placing pinwheels around your yard birds will tend to avoid the area because of the constant movement.

13) Get a few bird predator eye balloons.  These large balloons can be hung from trees and eves and can scare birds from your lawn.

14) Feed the birds. It’s possible that if you provide an ample food supply in a bird feeder nearby it may keep the birds busy eating and away from your new seedlings.

15) Utilize an ultrasonic bird deterrent. Even though humans can’t hear the sounds produced by these noise makers, birds can and they don’t like them. You will be able to be outdoors and enjoy your freshly seeded lawn in peace and quiet and keep the birds off your lawn.

There you go! 15 ways to keep the birds off the grass and stop them from eating your seed.

If you’re really motivated, you may want to combine a few of the strategies to ensure your hard work doesn’t get eaten.

Why do birds eat grass seed?

Grass seed is a natural food for birds as it is nutritious and generally easy to see and find.

Do birds eat coated grass seed?

Birds may avoid eating some coated grass seeds but it’s not a guarantee. 

Some coated grass seeds include a bird repellent but most do not. 

If this is something you desire be sure to check the label for the seeds and determine if this is the case.  If it is not included in the label, coated grass seed still may deter birds from feasting as it is a little different than the seeds they traditionally find in the wild. 

These coated seeds are usually formulated to retain moisture better and include fertilizer and fungicides to aid with the germination process.

Is there a grass seed birds won’t eat?

Yes, as mentioned above there are some products that are created with a seed coat that is designed to deter birds.

While it is not 100% guaranteed to work, the coated lawn seed we mentioned above does include ingredients that should keep the birds from devouring it all.

15 Tips to Keep Birds From Eating Grass Seed