Bird damage research at the University of California, Davis
The University of California, Davis, starling research program was broadened in 1976 to encompass agricultural pest birds in general. Under new direction there were a number of applied problems studied. The effects of feeding cattle only between 1600 hours and 0800 hours on cattle weight gain was studied with results indicating slower weight gains and lower meat quality when compared to cattle fed ad lib. Feed component selection by starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) was also studied finding that a starling selected diet contains a higher percentage of the high protein components than present in a commercially prepared dairy feed ration fed to them. References are given to papers on a damage assessment technique for grapes, a field test of methiocarb as an avian repellent to protect figs, and a field test using Avitrol treated seed to control house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus). An overview of continuing research activities and a status report on the bird damage specialist position is discussed.