Helminth parasites are reported for the first time from northern spotted owls. Seventyone percent of a sample of Strix occidentalis caurina from western Oregon was infected. Nematodes (Porrocaecum depressum, Capillaria falconis, Microtetrameres sp. and Synhimantus hamatus) were the most prevalent parasites although cestodes (Paruterina rauschi) and acanthocephalans (Centrorhynchus conspectus) were also represented. There was an association between components of this helminth fauna and the diet of spotted owls which is dominated by small rodents. The occurrence of P. rauschi rather than P. candelabraria in this geographic region and host-species may provide additional support for recognition of a parapatric distribution in the ranges of Paruterina spp. among strigiforms in the Nearctic.
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Vol. 25 • No. 2