Date of this Version
I'd like to open with a very brief discussion, then call on some selected people with whom I've corresponded earlier, and ask if they will discuss a particular aspect of this total bird problem. I've asked that they keep their comments from three to five minutes. Trying to break the total problem down into its several facets we came up with six arbitrary subtopics. For want of better terms I've called these: population census techniques, chemical repellants, sonic repellants, wetting agents, lethal control techni-ques, and damage evaluation. Your particular problem in your area may be slightly different than in other areas, but I think it all boils down to one thing—birds are causing either a nuisance or an economic problem. Our job, no matter what our affiliation, is to try to reduce the nuisance problem or reduce the economic damage caused by bird species in feedlots, blueberries, corn, urban roosts, or whatever. In extension work we are frequently asked to put a dollar value on a particular problem. We've been asked to do that here in Ohio with the blackbird corn problem. Others of you have related similar experiences in your respective states. Those who have worked primarily with birds in livestock feedlots, have had some interesting work in economics; you've been able to put a dollar value on the amount of damage caused by the birds. Those working on corn have not been quite so fortunate. The magnitude of the problem is anybody's guess. We know we've got a hell of a lot of birds, we know they're doing damage and causing nuisances, but from there—dollar-wise—who knows? Work is being done all over the nation, needless to say. The Federal government has become even more involved this past year with the establishment of the research facility at San-dusky, here in northern Ohio, under Mel Dyer's direction. That is as much as I'm going to say to introduce the program. Mel Dyer, Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, Sandusky, will initiate the discussion with a consideration of population techniques.