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Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

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Pest Alert – Black Birds in Small Grains

Posted by romeethredge on November 29, 2011

Droves of birds are descending on small grain fields. They are mostly a mixture of Red-winged Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds , and Starlings.  They are waiting until the small plant comes up and then pulling it up and eating the part of the seed that’s left. They have caused us to replant some oat fields and are causing problems in wheat and other small grain fields.  Going to the fields several times a day to scare birds off is needed in lots of fields now, especially in early mornings and evenings. I see some blackbird scare tactics listed in the “Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage” book. Here are some of them: “Propane exploders, rifle or shotgun shooting, electronic noise systems, helium filled balloons tethered in the field, radio controlled model planes, distress calls for birds (can be tape recorded), and scarecrows.”

 In this photo you can see where they’ve pulled up some plants. The wheat here is getting too big for birds to do much damage, too good of a root system to be able to pull up plants.

 A Juvenile Bald Eagle is giving the farmer some help in scaring off and eating some of the blackbirds that were threatening this wheat field.

Here’s a field of wheat that looks good and has escaped much bird damage so far. The grower has been visiting it to scare off birds.  It’s about to the stage of not having to worry much about it.

One Response to “Pest Alert – Black Birds in Small Grains”

  1. […] a link to my post last year about this problem where I highlighted the wheat situation https://seminolecropnews.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/pest-alert-black-birds-in-small-grains/.  I’ll deal more with Grain sorghum in this […]

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