By Michael Sauerbier
Blueberry season is here! Birds of prey keep a keen eye on a berry plantation in Brandenburg so that the sweet little fruits do not fall victim to starlings and mice.
Scarecrows, warning shots and loud shouts – the asparagus and blueberry farm Kremmen doesn’t need that. Its berry fields are now protected by three pairs of kestrels.
The clever fruit growers have built nests high above the ground for the birds of prey. With success.
“The mere presence of the kestrels has already proven to be a deterrent, so that the voracious starlings no longer attack our ripe berries in droves,” says production manager Roland Bläsche.
At night, however, the hawks sleep. That’s why Bläsche now wants to use bats. The insect-hungry twilight hunters are supposed to capture moths that are damaging the blueberry plants.
Despite strong competition from Morocco and Spain in the spring, blueberries are a profitable business: within ten years, the area under cultivation has more than quadrupled from 99 to 415 hectares. Brandenburg’s hot and dry summers don’t bother the heat-resistant crops.