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Bake Yourself A Blackbird Pie
In a half-serious scheme for getting rid of starlings, Steve Fretwell, a researcher at Kansas State University and head of their Bird Population Institute, baked himself a real "blackbird pie".
"They're about as gamey as a chicken thigh and it takes 6 to 10 breasts to make a meal," he told FARM SHOW.
Fretwell soaked the bird breasts in wine and onions for 12 hours before cooking them, then served them with wild rice. "Roasted breast of starling is delicious," says Fretwell, who suggests that a starling dinner might be a good way for bird clubs or other groups to raise funds. "You could invite people to come, then charge a fee
to come - or a higher fee to stay away, and make money either way," he points out.
Fretwell feels that a starling meal, or a blackbird pie, would not be any more of a health hazard then any other wild game: "Though these birds are objected to because they can carry disease to cattle feeding areas, there would be no problem when they are cooked for eating."
But Fretwell's main goal is to get rid of starlings and blackbirds because of the way they upset the entire bird population. "Because of the flocking trait of blackbirds, you can capture large numbers of them in traps. When a few are caught, others flock to the trap and also get caught," Farwell points out.
He gives this example of how bird populations affect each other! "We've got fewer numbers of the type of songbirds that nest in cup-shaped nests. That's because there are more bluejays, and there are more bluejays because we've chased the crows out of town."
Interest in birds and bird populations is so high nationwide that Kansas State University puts out a newsletter on the subject. You can get on the mailing list by writing to: Bird Population Institute, Kansas State University, Box 637, Manhattan, Kan. 66502.

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1980 - Volume #4, Issue #4