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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Evaluation of Potential Insect Baits for Red-Winged Blackbirds


When using DRC-1339 Concentrate, applicators have sometimes found that blackbirds will not feed on standard grain baits. While the search for more attractive baits has generally focused on alternate grains, fruits, and occasionally processed foods, a first-rate candidate may be insects. To our knowledge, no feeding tests using red-winged blackbirds have been conducted to measure consumption rates among various commercially available insects. Our results indicated that large-sized mealworms were the best bait for red-winged blackbirds during fall, whereas crickets were favored over small-sized meal¬worms and waxworms in summer. We speculate that choice was based to some extent on the quantity of fat available among the different foods. We plan to conduct similar feeding trials with European starlings.

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