Fenthion, (O,O-Dimethyl O-(3-methyl-4-(methylthio)phenyl) phosphorothioate), a widely used mosquito control agent, has caused wildlife mortality. To simulate a shallow wetland environment, an exposure chamber was used containing water treated with fenthion at 1 and 10 times the field application rate of 112 g active ingredient (AI)/ha. This system permitted an evaluation of exposure routes and the effects of fenthion in a representative species of wading bird, the black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax). The results suggested that herons received only a dermal exposure, and that their brain acetylcholinesterase activity was not significantly inhibited. In contrast, however, plasma butyrylcholinesterase activity was inhibited, suggesting the herons were exposed to the insecticide. The application rates and types of exposures were not life-threatening in this species.