Twenty-eight Harlequin Ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) and 26 Barrow's Goldeneyes (Bucephala islandica) were captured in Prince William Sound, Alaska, between 1 and 15 March 2005. Blood was collected for quantification of element concentrations, prevalence of antibodies to several viruses, and hemoparasite prevalence and identification. Although we found selenium concentrations that have been associated with selenosis in some birds (≥2.0 ppm ww), our findings contribute to a growing literature describing relatively high selenium in apparently healthy birds in marine environments. Avian influenza virus antibodies were detected in the plasma of 28% of the ducks. No antibodies against adenovirus, reovirus, or paramyxovirus 1 were detected. Several hemoparasite species were identified in 7% of ducks. Our findings are similar to those in other free-living marine waterfowl and do not indicate unusual concerns for the health of these species in this area in late winter.
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Vol. 44 • No. 2