Vertebrate Pest Conference Proceedings collection


Date of this Version

March 1967


The earliest settlers in Ohio and the Midwest suffered losses to birds. First it was animal losses to birds of prey, then crop losses to passenger pigeons. Today it is blackbirds! In 1900, F. E. L. Beal conducted an analysis of the digestive tracts of blackbirds collected in the Midwest and found that the preferred food in the summer months was soft seeds. A similar study which I conducted on redwinged blackbirds in 1959 showed that 90% of their diet was composed of soft seeds, primarily milk and dough stage corn during the late summer and early fall. Presently we estimate that we have an annual loss of $15 million to crop depredating birds in Ohio.