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1 January 2012 Parasites and Pathogens of Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis): A Field Survey of a Population Nesting Within a Grass-Dominated Agricultural Habitat in Georgia, U.S.A., with a Review of Previous Records
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Abstract

The parasite community associated with a population of eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) nesting in a grass-dominated habitat in northern Georgia, U.S.A., was surveyed by live examination of adults and nestlings; examination of feces, nesting materials, and blood smears; necropsy; and polymerase chain reaction techniques. During the course of 5 breeding seasons, we found 10 macroparasite species, which included 1 tick species (Ixodes brunneus), 1 louse species (Philopterus sialii), 1 species of hematophagous mite (Dermanyssus prognephilus), and 5 other species not previously reported from eastern bluebirds, including an acanthocephalan (Plagiorhynchus cylindraceus), a species of strongyloid nematode, a cestode (Hymenolepis sp.), a nestling bird fly (Carnus floridensis), and a nest mite (Campephilocoptes sp.); a description of feather mites associated with the population was not included in this report. Overall prevalence of macroparasites was 16.1%. We also detected 5 species of protistan parasites, including Haemoproteus fallisi, Plasmodium relictum, Trypanosoma avium, and 2 others, an Atoxoplasma sp. and a Sarcocystis sp., which represent new host–parasite records. One bird tested positive for West Nile virus and for St. Louis encephalitis virus. More than 50% of the birds examined were infected with 1 or more microparasites. Prevalence of microparasites varied by examination method employed. An updated list of known parasites of eastern bluebirds gathered from published literature and database searches is provided.

Reneé E. Carleton, James W. Mertins, and Michael J. Yabsley "Parasites and Pathogens of Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis): A Field Survey of a Population Nesting Within a Grass-Dominated Agricultural Habitat in Georgia, U.S.A., with a Review of Previous Records," Comparative Parasitology 79(1), 30-43, (1 January 2012). https://doi.org/10.1654/4493.1
Published: 1 January 2012
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