A Specialty Crop Research

Initiative Project

Funded by the USDA

Limiting bird damage to fruit crops:

Integrating economic, biological, & consumer information to determine testable management strategies for the future


Fruit producers have identified bird damage as a critical issue that has received limited attention from researchers. A USDA study estimated that birds cost producers in seven states tens of millions of dollars through fruit loss and management efforts. Despite these costs, research has been uncoordinated and piecemeal, leaving producers with few affordable management options. Our transdisciplinary, multi-state team will address bird damage to blueberries, cherries, wine grapes, and ''Honeycrisp'' apples with a systems approach. Our long-term goal is to provide producers with cost-effective, environmentally sustainable bird management strategies.

robbin in cherries

To achieve this goal we will:

1) quantify economic consequences of bird damage for producers, consumers, and regional economies

2) determine how bird damage varies within and across spatial scales (orchard, landscape, region)

3) identify amounts of damage attributable to specific bird species across crops and regions

4) investigate consumer responses to management strategies and potential effects on marketing

5) test management strategies for efficacy. We will use the information generated by addressing objectives 1-4 in a systems framework to determine management strategies to be tested in different crops and regions


By coordinating activities among researchers in Michigan, New York, and the Pacific Northwest, and from different disciplines, we will maximize efficiency in addressing this issue on a national scale while providing individual producers with region-specific information to guide their bird management efforts. This Standard Research and Extension Project addresses SCRI emphases on identifying and addressing threats from crop pests and improving long-term production efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

Bird Watch!

Have you seen a bird eating fruit in your field, orchard, or vineyard? Have you snapped a picture? If so, we'd love to see them and help answer any questions you may have! Please e-mail the picture with a brief description to shaynawief@gmail.com.

We appreciate your participation!


Click the image to find out about bird damage at a vineyard in Michigan!




View our latest newsletter, discussing our progress in 2013.


Check out our newsletter for preliminary results from our 2012 damage assessments as well as additional information on our economic and consumer research progress.












Click here to see who our partners are, and who is helping support the Bird Damage to Fruit Crops Research Initiative.

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