Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dermal insecticide residues from birds inhabiting an orchard

January 1, 2007

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.

Publication Year 2007
Title Dermal insecticide residues from birds inhabiting an orchard
DOI 10.1007/s10661-006-9573-2
Authors N.B. Vyas, J. W. Spann, C.S. Hulse, S. Gentry, S.L. Borges
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Index ID 5224712
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center