In a survey of avian blood parasites in Costa Rica, 51 (11%) of 479 birds sampled were infected by at least one species of hematozoan. Fourteen of the 60 species of birds in the survey were examined for the first time. Infections were most common in ramphastids and emberizids and infrequent in other taxa. Among resident species, infections were more commonly detected during the wet season when most birds breed than during the dry season when few birds breed. Infections caused by Haemoproteus sp. were most common, while Plasmodium sp., Leucocytozoon sp., Trypanosoma sp., and microfilarial infections were rare. The intensity of the 40 Haemoproteus infections in adult birds was low, with a mean ± SE of 12.5 ± 3.7 infected cells per 10,000. Haemoproteus infections did not undergo seasonal changes in intensity.
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Vol. 29 • No. 4