Past and Current Attempts to Evaluate the Role of Birds as Predators of Insect Pests in Temperate Agriculture

  • David A. Kirk
  • Matthew D. Evenden
  • Pierre Mineau
Part of the Current Ornithology book series (CUOR, volume 13)


Many bird species consume large quantities of invertebrates, some of which are considered agricultural pests. However, relatively few quantitative studies demonstrate that avian predators can reduce agricultural insect pests below a level at which unchecked populations would cause economic damage to crops or require treatment with pesticides. In fact, since the subject of economic ornithology (“all relations of birds that has any bearing upon the material welfare of [humans]”— McAtee, 1933) was last reviewed (e.g., McFarlane, 1976; Sweetman, 1958), there have been only a handful of published studies on the role of birds in agricultural ecosystems, and most of these refer to small-plot effects, with no attempt to aggregate the results at the level of an agricultural economic unit, i.e., the farm.


Bird Species Insect Pest Apple Orchard European Corn Borer Conservation Reserve Program 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Kirk
    • 1
    • 2
  • Matthew D. Evenden
    • 3
  • Pierre Mineau
    • 2
  1. 1.Aquila Applied EcologistsWakefieldCanada
  2. 2.National Wildlife Research Centre, Canadian Wildlife ServiceEnvironment CanadaHullCanada
  3. 3.Department of HistoryYork UniversityNorth YorkCanada

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