|FOR THE BIRDS Eating even a few pesticide-coated seeds can disorient white-crowned sparrows, new studies suggest.|
In lab studies, researchers captured wild white-crowned sparrows, Zonotrichia leucophrys, that were migrating north and fed them small doses of imidacloprid for three days — the amount that birds would get from eating a few pesticide-coated wheat seeds. The birds that ate the pesticides lost weight, study coauthor Margaret Eng reported November 15 at the annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North America.
And when placed in a large, inverted funnel used to study birds’ migratory orientations, the neonic-fed birds tried to fly in directions other than north. Birds that consumed sunflower oil instead showed no ill effects. SOURCE