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Theoretical concepts from foraging ecology were studied to identify elements of blackbird foraging strategies that may be manipulated to deter blackbirds feeding on rice. Seed-handling time was identified as one such vulnerable element. Consequently, we developed seed coatings for rice that increased handling time per seed, allowed a satisfactory germination rate, and persisted for several days postplanting. Test coats included hydrophilic binders with several starches, clays, plaster of paris and chemical grout in various combinations. Consistent repellency was achieved in feeding trials with captive red-winged blackbirds.