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Avian Use of Rice-Baited Trays Attached to Cages with Live Decoy Blackbirds in Central North Dakota

  • Author(s): Winter, Jamison B.
  • Linz, George M.
  • Homan, H. Jeffrey
  • Bleier, William J.
  • et al.
Abstract

The Compound DRC-1339 Concentrate – Staging-Areas label is approved in North Dakota for use in non-crop staging areas near blackbird roosts. Potential blackbird damage affects sunflower planting patterns and reduces profits. One option to manage damage is to reduce the local blackbird population using DRC-1339 bait. The challenges are to limit nontarget bird hazards while attracting large numbers of blackbirds. During fall 2007, we assessed the nontarget bird risks of using rice baits on elevated bait trays attached to the top of decoy traps. During random visits to bait sites, we recorded 968 individual birds and 12 avian species. Blackbirds accounted for 95% of all tray visits. Sparrow species were the most prevalent of the non-blackbirds. Strategic placement of the bait trays near large roosts will be necessary for this technique to be successful. Ultimately, Wildlife Services might use DRC-1339-treated rice baits on bait trays for managing local blackbird damage.

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