Dermal insecticide residues from birds inhabiting an orchard

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
By: , and 



The US Environmental Protection Agency conducts risk assessments of insecticide applications to wild birds using a model that is limited to the dietary route of exposure. However, free-flying birds are also exposed to insecticides via the inhalation and dermal routes. We measured azinphos-methyl residues on the skin plus feathers and the feet of brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) in order to quantify dermal exposure to songbirds that entered and inhabited an apple (Malus x domestica) orchard following an insecticide application. Exposure to azinphos-methyl was measured by sampling birds from an aviary that was built around an apple tree. Birds sampled at 36 h and 7-day post-application were placed in the aviary within 1 h after the application whereas birds exposed for 3 days were released into the aviary 4-day post-application. Residues on vegetation and soil were also measured. Azinphos-methyl residues were detected from the skin plus feathers and the feet from all exposure periods. Our results underscore the importance of incorporating dermal exposure into avian pesticide risk assessments.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Dermal insecticide residues from birds inhabiting an orchard
Series title Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Volume 133
Issue 1-3
Year Published 2007
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 209-214
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
First page 209
Last page 214