Date of this Version
This paper is intended to bring you up-to-date on the progress of various winter starling control projects conducted by our Bureau on feedlots in Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon. This report briefly covers the field work accomplished since that reported by the late Mr. H. Nelson Elliott in his paper delivered to the second meeting of your conference held in Anaheim, California, in March 1964. Prior to the winter of 1960-61 we experienced a tremendous build-up of starling populations in feedlot situations throughout the Pacific Northwest. The expanding livestock feeding industry was receiving great economic losses from starlings eating livestock feed and fouling additional feed and water. Conventional measures such as hazing and shooting were ineffective in protecting the feed yards. It was evident to this Bureau that means and measures had to be found to reduce starling numbers in feedlot situations. Due to starling build-ups an intensive experimental control project under field conditions was undertaken in Idaho in the winter of 1960-61. The experimental research was under the leadership of biologists of the Bureau's Denver Wildlife Research Center. The field operations were made possible through financial participation of the Idaho Cattle Feeders and the Idaho Department of Agriculture. Various control techniques were utilized and a summary of these is contained in Mr. H. Nelson Elliott's presentation to the Second Vertebrate Pest Control Conference. He also reported that the use of thallium sulphate baiting had reduced starling damage in feedlots, but the Bureau did not anticipate registration of thallium for bird control and that further emphasis would be placed on the development of more selective lethal agents.