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Old 01-24-2011, 07:40 AM   #1
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Default USDA orders blackbird kills!

Bye Bye Blackbird: USDA acknowledges a hand in one mass bird death - CSMonitor.com

Bye Bye Blackbird: USDA acknowledges a hand in one mass bird death

One in a series of mysterious mass bird deaths in the past month was the product of a USDA avicide program, which began as operation Bye Bye Blackbird in the 1960s. .....

Apparently it is quite legal for farmers to hire contractors to spread an avicide called DRC-1339 if they have blackbirds, starlings, grackles or cowbirds causing them trouble. One of the recent mass deaths of blackbirds in the news (but not all, they say) was a farmer killing 5000 red-winged blackbirds for the sin of defecating in his cow's feed.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:15 AM   #2
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Thanks to turttle...That explains SOME of their mass deaths.
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:37 PM   #3
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poison

But, it does not explain why when there are large mass deaths that government officials blame it on natural causes when it may be due to poisoning. Could it be that they don't want to take the blame for senseless killings? Apparently, not all the birds killed are invasive species, some are native species. And, some of these native species are in decline.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:59 PM   #4
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I didn't mean for it to sound like it was a good thing...It's just that we now know some of the whys.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havalotta View Post
I didn't mean for it to sound like it was a good thing...It's just that we now know some of the whys.
It's not a good thing when they are killing native species.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:07 PM   #6
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Details re: starling deaths in South Dakota can be found at Yankton Press & Dakotan > Archives > Community > Bird Deaths Linked To Poison

An excerpt: "...starlings are practically the only birds left at feedlots this time of year. Additionally, because they are very aggressive, they will beat other birds to the poison. Before federal officials put out DRC-1339, they put out a pre-bait to make sure only the target birds will be affected.

It is a service the USDA will provide to livestock owners if requested and the situation warrants it, Woods explained.

“They basically have to be suffering property damage or losing a significant amount of money,” he said. “There has to be some sort of hardship before we’ll come in and do any reduction.”"
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:01 PM   #7
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I have nothing against invasive species being managed, but native species are being killed, too.

I know that cowbirds and grackles are considered aggressive and are a nuisance, but where do you draw the line on destroying native wildlife.

Bye Bye Blackbird: USDA acknowledges a hand in one mass bird death - CSMonitor.com
Quote:
In 2009, USDA agents euthanized more than 4 million red-winged blackbirds, starlings, cowbirds, and grackles, primarily using pesticides that the government says are not harmful to pets or humans.
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