Published: Jan 1983
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Tests with caged wild birds for evaluating repellents applied to ripening fruits to reduce bird damage should include (1) sufficient time before testing for the birds to become acclimated to captivity, the test surroundings, and the test procedures; (2) environmental control to reduce stress and variation of results; (3) sufficient length of testing time to identify changes in performance which may occur with time; (4) techniques for measuring variation among individual fruits in size, color, and stage of maturity; (5) evaluation techniques which are appropriate for achieving the objectives of the test; (6) repellency criteria, which will permit a valid comparison of test birds; and (7) treatment concentrations that are at levels far enough apart to minimize overlap. Some general guidelines for complying with these recommendations are given. In addition, an actual test design recently used for comparing the repellency of methiocarb-treated grapes among starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus), and American robins (Turdus migratorius) is described and evaluated.
vertebrate pest control, bird repellents, aversive conditioning, methiocarb, ripening fruits, test methods
Biologist, Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, University of California, Davis, Calif.
Wildlife biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dixon, Calif.