Help a reader: birds eating lettuce

illustration of sparrow eating lettuce and kale
Photo illustration by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

I received this question from a reader:

Just wondering if anyone else has had sparrows eating their lettuce, Swiss chard or other greens. I planted a second crop fairly recently in planters and the sparrows act as if they are at a salad bar. They aren’t eating the seeds, just the leaves, picked them to pieces!

I’ve just recently covered them with old windows that I use for cold frames and am hoping this stops them.

I haven’t experienced this problem, but maybe you have.

How did you deal with this problem? Any suggestions?

Please leave a comment below!

Why I open some questions to readers

First of all, I’m not a gardening expert.

But we do have lots of people in WNY who can give you the information you need, such as the Master Gardeners with Cornell Cooperative Extension and the staff at your local garden center. Ask them what to do if your plant isn’t growing well. Ask them the name of a plant or an insect. They are great at that stuff.

But sometimes quirky questions come up that some of my readers may have had experience with.

Sending a question to me to post can be helpful if you’re looking for a wide range of opinions and don’t mind waiting for the answer. If you want to try this route, email the question to me at and I’ll pose it to my readers in an upcoming issue.

4 Comments on “Help a reader: birds eating lettuce

  1. sparrows eating your lettuce.
    I use the same netting that I cover my strawberries with and have no problem. Best wishes

  2. Honestly, I’m not surprised.
    I raise canaries and a variety of finches as a hobby and have always supplemented their seed diet with a variety of fruits and greens. Broccoli, kale, dandelion, endive are favorites!
    My only suggestion would be a mesh or lightweight row covering. The farmers use them to protect their crops from frost and they are readily available.
    Just google “plant row covers” or “garden row covers” and you will find many to choose from. Good luck!!!

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