Date of this Version
Published in In: G.M. Linz, M.L. Avery, and R.A. Dolbeer, editors. Ecology and management of blackbirds (Icteridae) in North America. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. Pgs. 1-15.
The United States and Canada have invested substantial resources over the past 60 years for developing methods to reduce blackbird (Icteridae) damage to agricultural crops, to manage large winter roosts that create nuisance and public health problems, and to mitigate conflicts with endangered species. It is an indication of the challenging nature of the conflicts with these abundant, highly mobile birds that we are still attempting to improve existing methods and develop new approaches to mitigate the problems. Scientists have tested chemical frightening agents and repellents, mechanical scare devices, bird-resistant sunflowers, decoy crops, habitat management, population management, and cultural modifications in cropping. Methods development proceeds within a framework of federal and state laws and agency policies. Here, we review key laws and policies that guide scientists focused on methods development, and we briefly recount the history of applied blackbird research in the United States and Canada.