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Red-Wing Blackbird Poisoning Delayed

Female Red-Wing Blackbird

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposal to kill by poison 2 million blackbirds a year for 3 years originally scheduled to start this spring is delayed -- the USDA has been required to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (CIS) to determine the environmental effects of this program (See "USDA to Poison Six Million Red-wings" and "Murder in the Midwest" for similar effects.). Until the EIS is completed, the program will remain on hold.

OTHERS AT RISK. As pointed out by such organizations as Audubon Society, the poisoning threatens to kill other birds, including steeply declining grassland songbirds. And poison your habitat.

PUTS EVERYONE AT RISK. If you think the loss of these natural insectivores doesn't effect you, ask the people of Nebraska whose crops and yards were inundated by grasshoppers this summer due, according to news commentators, to drought and the decline in numbers of birds. Similarly, drought and grasshoppers have decimated Canadian crops in Great Plains states of Manitoba and Alberta. (Ask the Mormons of Utah what they owe to wild birds for fighting insects without harming us.)

Her male mate
The Great Plains States that want to eliminate Red-wing Blackbirds for dubious advantage for a corporate commercial crop may also set the stage for future infestations of insects and chemicals. Fewer Birds equal more insects no matter what kind of pesticide is used. Protect yourself, e-mail Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman directly at:

Photographs copyright and special courtesy of Don DesJardin, Ventura, California.

September, 2002

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