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Blackbird and Starling Management
In compiling data for the 2008 blackbird and starling operational activities, WS for the first time used a new computer modeling method developed by its National Wildlife Research Center. The model was designed to more accurately estimate the number of birds removed at dairies, feedlots and staging areas with the avicide DRC-1339.
This new, improved estimation method reflects WS’ ongoing interest to ensure that the most accurate and complete program information is provided to the public, and to maximize transparency and accountability in its programs.
Bird species affected by WS’ newly-refined reporting procedures are: European starlings, red-winged blackbirds, brown-headed cowbirds, and grackles (3 species: boat-tailed, common, and great-tailed). In FY 2008, WS reported taking 4,210,411 individuals of these species, which is a 148% increase from those taken in 2007.
Three invasive birds (European starlings, English/house sparrows, and pigeons) and the blackbird group (blackbirds, grackles, cowbirds, crows, magpies) accounted for 90.6% of all animals lethally removed by WS during FY 2008.