Date of this Version
In 1984 studies were initiated to identify the bird species causing damage to pistachio nuts, quantify the losses, and explore possible methods for alleviating bird losses. The first year's field observations were made to identify and determine the level of activity of the various depredating bird species in the orchard. Field samples of nuts were collected to assess the levels of damage occurring in representative orchards. A mail survey of all commercial pistachio growers in California was conducted to determine which bird species growers believed were the cause of nut losses, the extent of damage they have experienced and what, if any, bird control methods they have used. The objective of the second year was to further evaluate production losses due to crows and scrub jays. During the damage season, evaluation of various types of baits for crows and scrub jays was made in several pistachio orchards. Finally, with most growers reporting the use of shooting to frighten and disperse the birds from the orchard, an initial effort to evaluate shooting as a control method was made.