Why does Mrs Blackbird not like my ferns?

Hello, our nesting blackbird couple are back for the fourth year and we just love watching them. Something I noticed is this time of year when my potted ferns are uncurling their new growth, Mrs B works her way through them and takes the tops off them. She also breaks them off in sections down to the bottom of the stem. I did wonder if she was lining her nest with the new soft leaves but she seems to leave the pieces where they fall. I'd rather she didn't do it, but its nature, I'm fascinated though why she does it? I've searched the internet, but no one mentions it, maybe it's just her? She has her nest in the neighbours garden, so they are not in her way. Thanks, Viki

  • There is every chance the blackbird was going to use the ferns as nesting material. The reasons why those pieces were broken off and not used could be many.

    • Disturbed
    • Too heavy or awkward to fly off with
    • If none were taken away, the ferns may harbour a nasty taste, (some plants will do that to prevent them being eaten)

    Just to suggest some possibilities.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Mike B:

    Thanks for your response Mike. Some good suggestions to think about, I'm especially liking the idea they don't taste nice to her, you'd think she'd learn after vandalising so many. I've given her a telling off (you can imagine the look she gave me) and asked her to stick to flinging the bark chipping about instead for fun. She'll be busy soon with her chicks so might give up, until next year.
  • In reply to viki:

    viki said:
    Thanks for your response Mike. Some good suggestions to think about, I'm especially liking the idea they don't taste nice to her, you'd think she'd learn after vandalising so many. I've given her a telling off (you can imagine the look she gave me) and asked her to stick to flinging the bark chipping about instead for fun. She'll be busy soon with her chicks so might give up, until next year.

    Sorry for the late reply, I'm playing catch up after an extended week in Scotland.

    At times we have to learn the hard way, and nature is no different. After seeing your post, I've been watching blackbirds, particularly ours as we have ferns in the garden, and not once have I seen one attempt to take on even touch the ferns.

    So it could be they don't taste nice....

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to viki:

    My theory is the blackbird was after old growth from last year. They pull at the dead bits. I haven’t had issues of them attacking new growth, but maybe your individual got carried away.