I found a GREAT solution to the problem of birds eating my fruits. Do you know what is an irrigation or construction marker flag? It is a stiff wire, about 18" long with a red flag on the end. I put about 8 of these (1/2 dark red, 1/2 light red) around each tomatoe plant. As the tomatoes ripen, the birds don't notice....they just leave it alone. I used to use nets, which were a hassle. BTW, I don't use cages; I let vines run on ground on top of my paper & stepping stone weed block....it works better for me. Send a reply with your e-address and I'll send you a photo.