Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for

 

Date of this Version

September 1968

Abstract

crops. With one method, we tried to see if we could reduce redwinged blackbird damage to corn. We put up the larger traps-25 x 50 or 50 x 100 feet-near corn fields that were being heavily hit or next to marshes where birds are roosting. Although we captured thousands of birds and destroyed them, we were working with such large numbers of birds that we found it was actually like pouring sand effect at all in reducing damage to corn. Also it's not an efficient method in this type of a situation; it takes a lot of time to tend these traps, and when you get several hundred birds in there, they're continually drinking up your water and eating up your bait. It's quite an effort on the tender's part. In fruit crops, however, we found this to be quite an entirely different case, at least in our area. We found that the large, permanent-type traps (usually the standard one we will set up is 25 x 50 feet) were quite successful in reducing starling depredation. As far as trapping other protected birds, traps don't seem to be too effective. What we think is that large populations of starlings will feed in the same areas, returning to the same orchards day after day; and by reducing these numbers with traps, we found that we can significantly reduce damage.