Effects on forest birds of DDT used for gypsy moth control in Pennsylvania

Journal of Wildlife Management
By:  and 



1. Systematic censuses of the birds on three 40-acre tracts of forest near Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, were made between May 1 and June 27, 1945, to determine the breeding populations....2. Between May 24 and June 1 a 600-acre area enclosing the first (Mile Square) was sprayed by airplane with DDT in oil solution at 5 pounds per acre. On June 9 a 350-acre area enclosing the second tract (Maple Lake) was sprayed with 1pound of DDT per acre. The third tract (Check) was not treated....3. Within 48 hours after treatment of the Mile Square tract, five sick birds were found with symptoms of DDT poisoning, and all died. Two other dead birds were found, and two nests apparently were abandoned. Species involved were red-eyed vireo (3), black-and-white warbler, black-throated blue warbler (nest abandoned), ovenbird (bird died, nest abandoned), redstart, and scarlet tanager....Within 48 hours after application of DDT to the final portion of the tract (on June 1) the population of living birds appeared to have been much reduced, and this condition continued. Before spraying the population total for all species was 1.6 pairs (3.2 birds) per acre. Three days after spraying had been completed there were only two singing males in the entire area; but on June 13 the estimated population was 0.5 bird per acre.....4. After DDT was applied to the Maple Lake tract, careful watch was kept for changes in the bird population and as to nest conditions there and on the Check tract. The apparent total reduction for all species in the Maple Lake tract was from 2.7 pairs to 2.6 pairs per acre; and in the Check tract from 2.7 pairs to 2.4 pairs per acre. Neither these changes nor the observed abandonment of nests and nestling mortality could be attributed to use of DDT.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Effects on forest birds of DDT used for gypsy moth control in Pennsylvania
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
Volume 10
Issue 3
Year Published 1946
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 202-207
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Wildlife Management
First page 202
Last page 207