Environment: The War on the Blackbirds

The scene is enough to give even bird lovers a case of aviphobia. Every day at dusk for the past four months, five million blackbirds have screeched and wheeled over Christian County, Ky., ever narrowing their circle until, with a final frenzied flapping, they settle into their roosting spot—30 acres of pine trees in the midst of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division base at Fort Campbell. At dawn the birds (mostly starlings and a scattering of grackles, cowbirds and red-winged blackbirds) take off to feast at local farms and feed lots. Again the sky darkens; again the air is filled...

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