Identifying species responsible for crop damage is an important first step in developing management strategies. Previous studies have surveyed bird species flying through cherry orchards but have not documented which species were consuming cherries. We conducted traditional surveys and behavioral observations in orchards of sweet cherries (Prunus avium) and tart cherries (Prunus cerasus) in Michigan during 2010 to compare results from the 2 techniques. American robins (Turdus migratorius) were detected most frequently during sweet cherry surveys, while behavioral observations showed that cedar waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) consumed more sweet cherries than did robins. Chipping sparrows (Spizella passerina) were the most commonly detected species during tart cherry surveys, while observations showed that American robins and common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula) consumed the most tart cherries. Although observational work is more labor-intensive than surveys, observations are more likely to provide accurate information on the relative importance of fruit-consuming species.
Lindell, Catherine A.; Eaton, Rachael A.; Lizotte, Erin M.; and Rothwell, Nikki L.
"Bird consumption of sweet and tart cherries,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 6
, Article 10.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol6/iss2/10