U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Document Type


Date of this Version

January 2003


Published by G. M. Linz, editor. Management of North American Blackbirds.


Because of their numbers and close association with humans and agriculture. the role of blackbirds in disease transmission has been of concern. Unfortunately fear systematic and quantitative studies have been carried out that bear on this issue. We review the extant literature on zoonoses and pathogens of agricultural concern where there is documented evidence for the involvement of blackbirds and starlings. It is clear that blackbirds can exacerbate levels of risk for failures in agricultural biosecurity and human health. To what degree these levels of risk are raised is largely unknown and should be the focus of future studies because this information will prove vital in the assessment of management options.