How to translate text using browser tools
1 October 2005 Effect of handling time and repeated sampling on avian white blood cell counts
Andrew K. Davis
Author Affiliations +

The practice of obtaining white blood cell (leukocyte) profiles and heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratios from avian blood smears has become increasingly popular to assess immune function in wild birds. I captured 28 House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) and made blood smears from samples obtained from them at 3, 30, and 60 min after capture to evaluate the effect of routine handling time on leukocyte profiles and H/L ratios. Total leukocyte counts decreased significantly with time, but the proportions of each leukocyte type remained the same over the 1-h time period. There was a nonsignificant increase in H/L ratios over time, but comparison with a group of birds held for 1 h before bleeding suggested that this was the result of the repeated bleedings, not handling time. I conclude that researchers should make every effort to obtain blood samples for making smears as soon as possible after capturing birds to ensure an accurate assessment of total leukocyte counts, but that routine handling times under 1 h do not affect H/L ratios.

Andrew K. Davis "Effect of handling time and repeated sampling on avian white blood cell counts," Journal of Field Ornithology 76(4), 334-338, (1 October 2005).
Received: 13 September 2004; Accepted: 1 February 2005; Published: 1 October 2005

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.

Carpodacus mexicanus
handling time
heterophil lymphocyte ratio
House Finch
white blood cell
Get copyright permission
Back to Top