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Birds--General/Sprayed bird by mistake


Hello: Last night at dusk,I noticed a wasp on the eave overhanging my front door,and nearby,what appeared to be an egg sized wasp nest.I got my wasp spray out,and proceeded to spray both the "nest" and the solitary wasp.The "nest" suddenly took flight-it was a small bird,possibly a house sparrow.My question is: would being sprayed with insecticide be deleterious to the bird's health? Thanks

Well, from your information, it's hard to know. How much spray did it get and what kind of spray was it? If it dissipates readily, then it won't be a problem. If it does not or is an oil-based spray, then maybe, as birds preen their feathers and the pesticide will be ingested. Personally, I avoid poison sprays and try to remove things physically, but I understand that is not always possible.


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Roger Lederer


Any and all questions about WILD birds - not caged, domestic or poultry. Can answer questions about identification, taxonomy, behavior, courtship, plumage, flight, or anything else. Wild birds only, please.


Taught ornithology (the study of birds) at the university level for 30 years. Have written five books on birds, published 30 scientific articles, write a blog on birds, have the website, lectured to hundreds of groups on birds,and have traveled to 90 countries studying birds.

A variety of ornithological and conservation organizations.

Real Simple Magazine, Enterprise-Record, and several ornithological and ecological journals.

PhD in Zoology with emphasis in ornithology.

Awards and Honors
Professional Achievement Award, Jack Rawlins Chair of Environmental Literach.

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