Bird Observer: The Birding Journal for New England

Bird Observer

The Birding Journal for New England

June 2017

Vol. 45, No. 3

The Complex Relationship Between Birds and Gypsy Moths

Jennifer Forman Orth and Matt Pelikan


Habitat with dead canopy trees, the Woods Preserve (Nature Conservancy), West Tisbury, MA. Photograph by Matt Pelikan.

For many of us in the world of pest management, the invasive insect known as the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) had fallen off the radar in recent years, after having caused massive tree deaths in the 1980s and then going quiet. But since 2015, the gypsy moth has come back in a big way. In this article, we take a look at what impact this outbreak could have on birds, and how birds can impact gypsy moth populations in return.

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