Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

October 1973


In dealing with population estimates, we need to determine first the reason for estimating the population. If we are dealing with a local situation, are we concerned with a local estimate? If we are dealing with a regional problem, are we concerned with a regional estimate? The blackbird problem is chiefly a regional problem, but we need to look at broader horizons than just local or regional situations. Are we dealing with a national problem? Is this problem a year-round one or is it a seasonal problem? We may want to know just purely the number of birds we are dealing with. Another reason for doing population estimates might be to determine the effectiveness of some lethal control method that has been employed. Fortunately, those species with which we are most concerned are those not on the endangered species list at the present time. Many Ohio farmers would like to see the Red-winged Blackbird on the endangered species list, I think, but it is not there. My particular interest in population estimates is to determine if we can develop an early warning system for the agriculturists, so that they can better anticipate the time they can expect damage from birds. A lot of methods have been tried in the past.