In June and July 1995, 98 breeding common terns (Sterna hirundo) were captured, weighed, and bled as a part of ongoing research on the population health and reproductive biology of this species of special concern. Packed cell volume, total and differential white blood cell counts, and blood smears were obtained. Blood smears from 75 terns were examined. No hemoparasites were found. There were some significant differences among hematologic parameters in birds from different islands, and between birds nesting earlier versus later in the season, but there were no significant differences associated with body mass, sex, or age. The absence of hemoparasites in the blood smears of these terns is noteworthy, especially because other studies of seabirds (including Charadriiformes) have revealed low prevalences of hematozoa.
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Vol. 40 • No. 3