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The problems of assessing damage in a feedlot situation are discussed with reference to past approaches. The rationale of bird activity indexes as an indirect estimate of feed loss is presented as a feasible assessment technique. Preliminary regression models of bird activity were generated using time-lapse photography and paired with feed consumed over time. These regression models predict that for every 1000 bird-minutes of starling activity, 4.80 kg of pelletized feed is consumed, whereas the model for a granular hog meal predicts only 0.59 kg of feed consumed for every 1000 starling-minutes. The practical basis of this method in utilizing observers to estimate bird activity is discussed in relation to problems of estimation and sampling bird activity.
vertebrate pest control, starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, damage assessment, feed loss, livestock feeding areas
Wildlife biologist, Kentucky Research Station, Denver Wildlife Research Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bowling Green, Ky.
Biometrician, Section of Bird Damage Control, Denver Wildlife Research Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver, Colo.