Plasma proteins, hematocrit, differential blood counts were examined and nutritional condition was estimated for bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) trapped (n = 66) during autumn migration, 1994–95 at Galloway Bay (Saskatchewan, Canada), for the purposes of estimating prevalence of exposure to lead. Sex and age differences in hematocrit and plasma proteins were not observed; however, female eagles exhibited larger median absolute heterophil counts than males. Hematologic values were similar to those previously reported from eagles in captivity. Departures from expected hematological values from a healthy population of eagles were not observed in birds with elevated levels of blood lead (≥0.200 μg/ml). Similarly, nutritional condition was not related to blood-lead concentrations. Therefore, it appears that lead exposure in this population was below a threshold required to indicate toxicological alteration in the hematological values and index of nutritional condition that we measured.
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Vol. 37 • No. 3