SURVEY OF BIRD DAMAGE TO BLUEBERRIES IN NORTH AMERICA
Document Type Article
In this survey of 15 states and British Columbia, 84% of the 49 respondents considered bird damage to blueberries (Vaccinium sp.) to be serious or moderately serious. As in a similar 1972 survey, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris), American robin (Turdus migratorius), and common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) were listed as the most serious pest species. Most of the people surveyed who formerly used Mesuroll to control bird depredations felt that the severity of bird damage increased in 1989 when the registration for Mesuroll use on fruit lapsed. Based on the responses to this survey, we conservatively estimate that 10% of the blueberry crop was damaged by birds in 1989. If this damage estimate is applied to the total 1989 United States blueberry production (71.7 million kg), and assuming an average price of $1.10/kg, then bird damage may have cost growers $8.5 million nationwide.