Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

October 1973


Studies into the post-breeding season activities of the Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) recently have received greater attention. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service began a massive study involving the finding of winter concentrations of blackbirds and the marking of individuals. Meanley (1965, 1971), the most conspicuous name in the literature involved in this work, has recently published observations on the roosting behavior of the Redwing in southern United States. This wave of interest in blackbirds also is present in New York. Growers in the Finger Lakes Region have become quite concerned with the extent of damage to their corn. In the vicinity of the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge (M.N.W.R.) in central New York, corn growers have become particularly vociferous. They have claimed that this federal Refuge harbors tremendous numbers of Redwings, and that these birds are flying out from the Refuge and causing extensive damage to corn in the area. This paper reports on studies employed to determine local movements of Redwings during the summer-fall communal roostinq season and these birds' role in the corn damage problem in the vicinity of M.N.W.R. (Cutright, 1973).