Yes, it does. There was a huge controversy a few years ago about a plan to kill 2 million blackbirds in South Dakota. Imagine the irony; People feed birds because they like them and want them around. Yet, birds are killed to protect the birdseed from being eaten by birds.Bye Bye Blackbirds Poison Program of the USDA
: USDA Acknowledges a Hand in One Mass Bird Death, I didnt take it too seriously. Yet this story, a repost of a Christian Science Monitor article on the Truthout website, turns out to be true. Evidently the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has taken responsibility for the death of hundreds of starlings, found frozen on the ground and in the trees in a park in Yankton, South Dakota, in late January. A farmer contracted the government to poison the starlings, that were causing problems in a cattle feedlot, eating the feed and leaving waste on both the feed and equipment.
It turns out that the USDA has been providing this service to farmers since the 1960s, in a program called Bye Bye Blackbird, using an avicide called DCR-1339 to kill the birds. In 2009 alone, according to the Christian Science Monitor article, USDA agents have euthanized more than 4 million red-winged blackbirds, starlings, cowbirds, and grackles. In addition to the USDA program,
a so-called depredation order from the US Fish and Wildlife Service allows blackbirds, grackles, and starlings to be killed by anyone who says they pose health risks or cause economic damage. Though a permit is needed in some instances, the order is largely intended to cut through red tape for farmers, who often employ private contractors to kill the birds and do not need to report their bird culls to any authority.
Im sure these birds are pests to farmers, and might pose a health risk if they gather near feedlots, but it seems like such an extreme measure.