Directions for poisoning pinon jays


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Directions for poisoning pinon jays
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United States -- Division of Wildlife Research. -- Section of Food Habits
United States Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Biological Survey ( Washington, D.C )
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AG I-17 r/R
14 ^/ Th. 6

bureauu of Bioloical Surveyi

..ilife_ rs t. and ent ;
... .. _._ ____~ 'L .. -J l"___ l E- __ '
rashington, D. C. _*___ ?7 '**.L. I LfJ


Prepared in Section of Food Habits, Division of wildlife e research

The rpinon jay, also kmown as squc,.er, pinon s .:er, blue cro,,
and cedar bird, at times does considerable damage to corn (maize) and
wheat-in some sections of the Rocky L1ountain States. Damage occurs
mainly in fields near the pinon-cedar covered. hills that for-. the
natural abode of these birds In such sections isolated fields of
grain in close proximity to the hills are almost certai-:- to be damaged,
while fields in the cente..r of broad aricultj.raa eas seldom are
visited by the Cbirds. .1sequently the p'obiem of contrchUng the pinon
jay is associated most Lrojquently with the small and pioneer fnch a<.-d
Sis es-pecially serious in areas of narrow creek valleys.

Corn is sor-.etim-.- d..m-w-ed in the roasting-ear stage, but serious
loss seldom occurs until it is ripe enough to be readily shelled off by
the birds. LUpon first entering a cornfield, the jays are likely to scatter,
but within a fev. days they are inclined to settle down to a definite sec-
tion of the field where they have previously opened ears, and to r-,-turn
again and again to that spot. That is the place to carry out effective
poisoning operations, and, until such a feeding area is est-blished, it is
useless to distribute poisoned bait.

'ffcctive poisoning d-ring the -ocried when *,.eat is in the shock is
more difficult and is complicated by the fc,-ct that at that time mo-r:
doves are extremely abundant, feeding in the stubble while the j Ls are
feeding both on the shock and in the stub'.le. Baits placed in ,wheat stucble
are sure to kill large numbers of doves. As yet, no method that is both
effective and economical has been discovered for placing suitable baits on
shocks. The extent of daMmn.-e to wheat is not so great as to -;warrant e::x-
pensive control measures.

Pinon jays are not protected by Federal law, but before undertak:ir.g
poisoning operations attention should be c-id t+_ protective State laws -ni
care should be taken to comply 'ith State and locc.l regulations relati:.- to
the use of poisoned baits.

Preparation of the Poisoned Bait

Use as a base whole shelled corn, well cured and dry, if it can be
obtained, and powdered strychnine a~lkaloid as the poison. T:e poison is
applied to the outside of the grain in a mixture "with starch paste. Tk^


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rro-r)Crtion 0" t -ese

cic ij i co rr.

5 quarts

elements for varying

Strychnine alkaloid

1/4 ounce
1/2 "

quann-iTies of bait are:

Starch paste




1 quart

2 tablespoons

.ae a starch paste by dissolving a quantity of ordinary laundry
starch in a little cold water and stir well as enough boiling water is
ad-i'-,d to La::, the paste of the consistency of ordinary cream. To the quan-
tity of strychnine required add a like bulk of this starch paste and mix

thor uglyl; th4,n add
te auuantity needed.

the corn in a box or tub and mix thoroughly until


the kernels are evenly

Poisoned grain thus prepared -..'ill withstand a shower or two, but exposure

to prolonged or

repeated rains will

cause it to lose its effectiveness.

Distribu-tingZ the Bait

The _.isoned grain should

handful at r time rnd, hold

t filter
,-,'7een the
4I' linear

through the
One hancl ful

be scattered in

stands of corn by


ing it either to one side or behind, letting
fingers while walking at a moderate pace be-
of shelled corn thus spi.L& will cover about

fect in the ro,, and, except in small fields, poison scattered

mr every other row is 112ifficient
:ill cover the damaged section.
to v 1ic turkeys, ducks, geese,

Usually 5 to 10 quarts of poisoned grain
These baits should not be placed in fields

and young chickens have access.


possess a r.,'a -1ed1 i:rmunity to strychnine poisoning but the other birds men-
t>oned are susceptible e an must be kept out of baited fields. When the

- it is :cai"tered as


r-, "be past-red in the fields.

there is no danger to stock that subsequently

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enough more of the paste and the glycerin to make up
After stirring well, pouIr this poison mixture over

Let the bait dry for a few hours or over night before using.

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