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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Methods of controlling blackbird damage to field corn in South Dakota

  • Author(s): DeGrazio, John W.
  • et al.

Recent research efforts to control blackbird damage to corn in South Dakota are described. The primary species responsible is the red-winged blackbird, but other associated species include yellow-headed and Brewers blackbirds, common grackles, and brown-headed cowbirds. The birds’ biology and behavior are described, as is damage assessment in corn fields. Bird banding efforts have revealed typical bird migration patterns and movement. Trapping with Miller-type cannon nets and with modified Australian crow traps have shown success. Other damage control techniques considered, investigated, and/or evaluated include bird-resistant variety of crops, habitat management, use of frightening devices, roost sprays with the organophosphate DRC-632, and baiting with the fright-producing chemical DRC-1327.

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