Mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) are the most abundant and widespread native member of the columbid family, as well as a major migratory game species, in the United States. However, there is little information on mortality factors in mourning doves. Records of necropsy accessions at the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) from 15 southeastern states, from 1971 through 2005, were reviewed. One hundred thirty-five mourning doves were submitted from nine states during the 35-yr period. Trichomonosis constituted 40% (n=54) of all diagnoses and was the most frequent diagnosis. Toxicoses and avian pox constituted 18.5% (n=25) and 14.8% (n=20) of all diagnoses, respectively. Remaining diagnoses included trauma, suspected toxicosis, Ascaridia columbae infection, suspected tick paralysis, and undetermined. Adults were observed more frequently with trichomonosis (94.1%) and toxicoses (68%) as compared to juveniles, but a gender predisposition was not apparent for either disease. Age and gender predilections were not apparent for cases of avian pox. The majority of the trichomonosis and avian pox cases were observed in the spring-summer, whereas the majority of the toxicosis cases were observed in the winter-spring. Additionally, the Georgia Department of Human Resources–Division of Public Health and West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources submitted 809 mourning doves to SCWDS from 2001 through 2005 for West Nile virus surveillance efforts. West Nile virus was isolated from 2.1% (n=17) and eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) was isolated from 0.2% (n=2) of the submitted birds.
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Vol. 43 • No. 1