Feeding preferences in captive Corellas for green-dyed and plain oats

The common practice of including a green dye in baits used for pest animal control is thought to provide some protection for non-target birds because general avoidance of green coloured foods by some bird species has been documented. Captive Long-billed Corellas Cacatua tenuirostris offered a choice between green-dyed and plain whole oats showed a preference for the plain food on the first day. This preference was not evident on the second day of feeding, and by nine days there was a preference for the green food. These results are discussed in the context of current baiting practices. While the inclusion of green dye in oat baits may provide some initial protection to Corellas, this may not be a lasting effect in situations where birds have consecutive opportunities to feed.

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