Visual display of the Aldo Leopold papers : 9/25/10-4 : Species and Subjects

Office of 
August 23. 1915 
Prof. Aldo Leopold 
Dept. Wildlife Management 
my dor Aldo: 
It pleagd as to learn that you were planning to uodert 
research for the purpose of controlling damage to young 
corn by phasants. I hope that Mr. Ilder will be able to 
give you some constructive suggest ions, and that you will 
be able to work out arranements whereby the Conservation 
Department can supply you with fuus and other assistance 
to enable you to cwry forward this study. 
Inevitably the tension between farmers and sportsmen is 
going to grow and become serious if we do not find wars of 
redaing the factors which cause irritation and friction* 
such as the damage done to young corn by pheasats. If 
there are weas in which this office can be of assistance 
in carrying forward the contemplatea research project, I 
invite you to get in touch with me. 
Sincerely yours* 
Associate Director 
1xperiment Station 

5136 South Kimbark 
Chicago 15, Illinois 
S~m ar2 _1 94F 
Professor Aldo Leopold 
424 University Farm Place 
Madison 5, Wisconsin 
Dear Aldo, 
In some of our restricted (not secret) literature I found a description 
of a successful means of preparing p~ison grain for rodents that would 
not be taken by birds. It was merely oats soaked in green dye. I 
supose it might make no difference to a pheasant pulling up a corn shoot

whether the grain at the end was green or yellow, but it might,be worth 
trying. At least it is concievable that a certain amount of grain 
could be sacrificed each year in earAfield to teach the local pheasants 
to associate the green color with a bad taste add that thereafter only 
the color and not the bad taste could be added to the corn. For dyes 
I would suggest writing to: 
Dr. Justis C. Ward 
546 Custom House 
Denver 2, Colorado 
Dr. Ward might also have ideas on repellents. 
I was mistaken about Ward's being in charge of the laboratory out there.

He sounded as if he were but Cottom mentioned that Kalmbach was in 
charge. Ward is chief chemist. If you wish you may mention my name and 
connection with the University of Chicago Toxicity Laboratory -- he may 
remember me. 
In checking a few of the more likely references on bird sense organs, I 
found little doubt that they have the apparatus, though poorly developed,

both with which to smell and to taste. Although no taste buds have been 
found in the chiektsome birds (species?) have 40 to 60 small taste buds,

and parrots have as many as 400. (Hares have 900 large taste buds.) 
Parrots with their large fleshy tongue seem to taste well, chew their food,

and reject unpalatable parts. I think this shofld and could be easily 
checked in pheasants. Sections of the base of the tongue in one bird 
would be sufficient. 
Enclosed is a copy of my first letter to Dr. Bennitt. He has since 
written for my complete transcript and references and said that he had 
planned to talk it over with Curtis in the next few weeks. If he should 
offer me the jub, but cannot finance it until next year, I wonit mind 
too much because there are certainly many interesting things I could do 
until then. 
I sent a feeler out to Jess Low who is now head of that unit. 
I had a talk with Cottom this week but he is still without appropriations.

In fact Lee Yeager told me that they were unable to pay his salary and 
had to loan him to the Lake Basin Survey for the time being. Cottom also

said that they have as yet no demonstration of an electronic device for 
frightening birds, though they have two projects working on it.- 
No word from Arizona. Have you heard anything?