I've read many sites - seen this question before, but no real answers. I have 3 areas of elderberries - they are at least 10 years old. They have had compost, manure and some fertilizer. They are weed free. They have been watered. They have been pruned. They flower heavily, turn green. I have more than one variety. Each head then gets a combination of green and red - perhaps a few - but very few dark purple berries. The red, along with the purple fall off. It's not the birds. One indication I read on how to tell if they are ripe is that the heads droop. That is poor indication, as they are still not purple when this happens. The red ones can be squished, so they are at least somewhat soft. Are they lacking something in the soil?