Brain cholinesterase activities were determined in passerines collected from northwestern forests that had been sprayed with trichlorfon, acephate, and carbaryl at 0.56, 1.13 and 2.26 kg/ha. Trichlorfon and carbaryl inhibited cholinesterase activity slightly in only a few birds, primarily canopy dwellers. In contrast, acephate caused marked inhibition of cholinesterase activity in nearly all birds collected. The inhibition was present even 33 days after spraying. Some birds from the acephate-sprayed forests exhibited clinical signs compatible with acute acetylcholinesterase inhibition.