Date of this Version
Crop Protection 90 (2016) 40-48
Frugivorous birds impose significant costs on tree fruit growers through direct consumption of fruit and grower efforts to manage birds.We documented factors that influenced tree fruit bird damage from 2012 through 2014 with a coordinated field study in Michigan, New York, and Washington. For sweet cherries, percent bird damage was higher in 2012 compared to 2013 and 2014, in Michigan and New York compared toWashington, and in blocks with more edges adjacent to non-sweet cherry land-cover types. These patterns appeared to be associated with fruit abundance patterns; 2012 was a particularly lowyield year for tree fruits in Michigan and New York and percent bird damage was high. In addition, percent bird damage to sweet and tart cherries in Michigan was higher in landscapes with low to moderate forest cover compared to higher forest cover landscapes. 'Honeycrisp' apple blocks under utility wires were marginally more likely to have greater bird damage compared to blocks without wires. We recommend growers prepare bird management plans that consider the spatial distribution of fruit and non-fruit areas of the farm. Growers should generally expect to invest more in bird management in low-yield years, in blocks isolated from other blocks of the same crop, and in blocks where trees can provide entry to the crop for frugivorous birds.