In south-central Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1986, 1987 and 1989, the aerobic bacterial flora was evaluated from 75 unhatched raptor eggs of three species: 42 of the Swainson's hawk (Buteo swainsoni), 21 of the ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis), and 12 of the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus). In addled Swainson's hawk eggs, the most common bacterial genera were Enterobacter (18 eggs), Escherichia (12), and Streptococcus (10). Seven great horned owl eggs and six ferruginous hawk eggs also contained Escherichia coli. Salmonella spp. were not isolated. These bacteria were interpreted as secondary contaminants and not the primary cause of reproductive failure.
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Vol. 33 • No. 2