February 27 2007

Help in Identification

Hello Robert,

I wonder if I could impose on you to post something on your blog for me regarding bird information. Here, in NC, we have an incident of what we believe to be poisonings of song birds. Nice, folks, huh? I park in a parking lot in downtown Raleigh (capital city) and we have been finding little piles of saltine crackers with some blue substance either smeared or dribbled onto the crackers. We believe that this is an effort to poison birds that sit in these trees and, naturally, occasionally poop on the cars beneath them. I have called in our state Pesticide investigative personnel, but they’ve never seen anything like this and the lab does not have the capability of testing for just any substance, so if we have some sort of lead, something someone else has encountered or seen to point us in the direction of what kind of substance this is, would be very helpful. We have racked our brains and just can’t come up with anything that would be of a benign nature that is this color that anyone could be putting out for the birds. There has been some heated discussion in years past among some of the patrons of this parking lot pertaining to the yearly and seasonal presence of cedar waxwings that come through about this time of year in flocks and feast on berries on the downtown landscape trees. I think it is extremely coincidental that these mysterious crackers would appear just at the time these birds come through this year. Any help you or your readers could offer would be just wonderful.


Kathy Imbriani
Laboratory Research Specialist
Plant Industry Division
216 W. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC 27603

Mailing Address:
1060 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699

919-733-3930 x 225

4 Responses to “Help in Identification”

  1. Bobbie says:

    As if life isn’t hard enough. I found this link. There are apparently a lot of poisons for birds. If you could find pictures of some of them maybe you could find yours.

  2. Ed B So Cal says:

    It is sickening that some evil person cares more about the paint on his car than on the little defenseless creatures that provide joy and clear up some small berries. I know we all have some of these twisted individuals in our communities. I hope the evil killer(s) are caught.

  3. Anonymous says:

    oh man? i hope you FIND THE CULPRIT animal abusers … sick this is SICK of them UGHHHH and i commend you for trying to find as many ways as possible to capture these individuals somehow. GOOD LUCK keep us posted on this? Sarah in San Diego

  4. Kathy Imbriani says:

    Here’s an update on the alleged bird poisonings. The fellow was caught red handed — by me. He got out of the car and nonchalanatly dropped the crackers under a tree. The next morning he was approached by a Raleigh City Policeman and a pesticide specialist from our Dept. of Ag. He admitted to putting out the crackers, but said he “found” them in his parent’s basement with the blue substance already on them. Not a fast thinker on his feet, apparently. We’re still awaiting laboratory tests to see just what the substance was, but all involved now suspect poisoning. I’ll keep you posted.

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