Bug-killer linked to decline in birds

A Dutch study finds that spraying bug killers on crops can reduce the number of insect-eating birds

By Stephen Ornes, 09:24 AM July 29, 2014

Farmers often use chemicals to kill the bugs that dine on crops. But insects aren't the poisons' only victims. A new study links widespread use of one insecticide with a drop in the number of local birds.  A second study finds relatively high levels of this chemical — and related ones — taint rivers that drain off of U.S. farmlands.

Both studies focused on bug killers known as neonicotinoids (nee-oh-NIK-uh-tin-oydz). Earlier research showed these chemicals can harm honeybees and bumblebees. Bo...

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