My parents came to visit when my home was relatively new. I showed my little vegetable garden to them with requests for advice. One problem that I was having was that seeds would germinate, and then disappear within a day or two. Leaves that remained had holes in them. My mother, who fed four kids out of six half wine barrels on the driveway (only sunny spot) quickly figured out what the culprit was. “White crowned sparrows,” she said.
At first I didn’t believe her. I hadn’t seen any white crowned sparrows in my yard. Finches and English Sparrows, yes. White crowned sparrows? Not a one. A year or two later, I was out at dusk. Wouldn’t you know it, a couple of white crowned sparrows swooped over the neighbor’s brick wall into my garden. The got their fill of my seedlings and then flew back over the brick wall. Why does Mom always have to be right?
My vegetable beds are sunken to keep irrigation water in place so, I tried putting down bird netting over the top of the beds with rocks along the edges to weigh them down. The little monsters managed to sneak under the netting. Eventually I figured out that if I put aviary cloth on a frame and sealed the edges, my seedlings survived until they were large enough to not be of interest to the voracious sparrows.
It worked! The sparrows move on to other sources of seeds, which I provided. Now all of us are getting fed.