Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

November 1979


The existence of large winter blackbird-starling roosts has, at least in recent years, presented problems to residents of Kentucky and Tennessee. Farmers in the vicinity of large roosts have reported serious crop and feedlot losses (including transmission of livestock diseases caused by blackbirds and starlings). Aesthetic, human health, and nuisance problems are frequently associated with large roosts. To gain knowledge and understanding of the distribution and ecology of winter roosts so that more effective means of alleviating these problems can be found, the Fish and Wildlife Service periodically conducts roost surveys throughout the United States. Surveys of winter roosts, with varying degrees of intensity, were conducted during the winters of 1960-61 through 1963-64, 1969-70, 1974-75, and 1976-77 (Meanley and Webb 1965, Webb and Royall 1970, Meanley and Royall 1976, Royall unpublished data). With the aid of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel, L.S. Clark, C.R. Cooper, D.E. Steffen, K.M. Garner, R.M. Fisher, J. Karrenbrock, and C.E. Knittle, a roost survey was conducted during the winter of 1977-78, from late December through January in Kentucky and late December through mid-February in Tennessee. Special thanks go to W.C. Royall, Jr., for supplying past winter roost information and helping to revise past roost survey guidelines. Thanks also go to the many cooperators, too numerous to name, who supplied information for the survey. A more detailed report outlining survey guidelines and specific information on each roost surveyed is available from the author.