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Do Birds Eat Grass Seed – How To Prevent Them in These 5 Easy Steps?

Grass Seed

Do you want to grow your lawn from seeds? It is an affordable option, and for smaller lawns, this is a good option.

When I first decided to buy seeds for my lawn, I purchased the most expensive and top-quality grass seeds. I sowed the seeds and waited for days and then weeks for the grass to grow.

However, the grass only grow in patches, and I had to reseed. My neighbor, who was watching me struggle, told me that it was the birds causing this problem.

I asked him, do birds eat grass seed? And he answered yes. Here is what I learned about birds eating grass seeds.

Do Birds Eat Grass Seed

Do Birds Eat Grass Seed?

Who does not want to have a beautiful lush green lawn which looks like a carpet? Getting a good lawn started is quite easy if you take some precautions.

One easily missed problem is the birds swooping in and eating the seeds. Birds may seem harmless, but they are ferocious eaters and can pick a large number of seeds very fast. 

If one bird lands on the freshly seeded lawn, it can attract others in no time. Most grass seeds take 4 to 5 weeks to germinate, and your lawn will not stand any chance against the tiny little birds if you don’t take preventive action in time.

How Can You Protect the Grass Seeds?

Birds are lovely, and everyone likes to see them flitting around in the garden. Moreover, they also keep your plants safe from insects and pests.

But you don’t want them in your garden, when you have just sewn grass seeds. These seeds are a good food source for many bird species. Birds also like to take a dirt bath in the soil and disturb it.

Best quality grass seed is expensive, and sowing requires a lot of effort too. So, knowing how to keep the birds away  from eating grass seed is always helpful.

Watch this video to learn more.

1. Bury the Seeds

One easy way to hide the seeds from the birds is to rake the seeds lightly. This way, it will be somewhat covered by the topsoil. Add a little bit of water to make the soil stick to the seeds.

This will help with faster germination and discourage birds from pushing loose soil around to find the seeds.

2. Remove Food Source

If your garden normally attracts many birds, it could be either the bird feeders you have kept in the garden or natural feeding sources. As long as this easy food is available, they will keep coming back to the garden.

A week or two before the sowing, you should remove the feeders from the yard. This will make the birds look for alternative food sources. They will move to other areas and let your lawn germinate.

3. Cover The Lawn

Create a physical barrier between the seeds and the birds to protect the seeds. It not only hides the seeds but also makes it hard for the birds to reach the seeds. Here are the common ways you can cover the seeds:

  • Mulching: This is probably the best way to cover the lawn.
    •  Mulching helps the soil to retain moisture, which allows the grass to germinate better.
    • In colder weather, mulching helps in maintaining ground temperature, which improves the growth of grass.
    • Mulching also prevents weeds from growing on the lawn.
  • Burlap Sheets: It can take between 2 to 5 weeks for the seeds to germinate.
    • Burlap sheets provide an excellent option for protecting the seeds in the meantime.
    • It allows sunlight, heat, and moisture to pass through it, making it difficult for the birds to see or grab the seeds.
    • Once you notice germination, you can remove the burlap sheets.
  • Tarp: Using a transparent tarp is a perfect option in colder weather.
    • In such weather, you don’t want too much water on the soil and at the same time want to retain heat inside.
    • If you are planting grass seed in spring or fall, the transparent tarp can be the perfect option.
    • You can either nail the tarp or place heavy rocks all around to prevent it from blowing away.
    • In summers, though, it may damage the seeds because of excess heat.
  • Netting: A good quality bird net made of nylon material can prevent birds from landing on the lawn for the seeds.
    • Place stakes around the corners and hook up the net on the stakes.
    • It should remain a couple of inches above the ground.
Do Birds Eat Grass Seed DQS Bird Net
DQS Bird Net – via

4. Other Deterrents

Using deterrents that can scare the birds like a scarecrow or dummy predators can be a good option. Scarecrows are cheap to buy or easy to make and do not require any maintenance.

However, birds are clever and soon realize that it is life-less and have no fear of it. Anything which can make sudden and loud noise can also spook the birds.

5. Extra Seeds

With persistent birds, none of the strategies you use may work 100 %. You may defend your lawn very aggressively; birds will always find a chance to get to them.

Some seeds may even be blown away or not germinate. If you want the lawn to come up perfectly, then a good piece of advice is to sow extra seeds. This will ensure a better-looking lawn.


In this article, we are sure that we have been able to answer your question, do birds eat grass seed?

Birds like finches, sparrows, blackbirds, and many more like to eat the grass seed, which is an easy food source for them.

Now that you know more about this, you also know that knowing how to keep them away is essential to having a healthy and lush lawn.

There are many strategies to choose from, and you need to see what works for you. Feel free to share this information with others facing similar problems. Contact us if you need more information. Make the dream of a lush lawn come true.