Blood and cloacal swabs were collected from 100 (66 female, 34 male) wild Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) molting in northwestern Alaska, USA, 25–28 July 2008, to establish hematologic and serum chemistry reference values and to isolate enteric Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Plasma biochemistry and hematology values did not vary significantly by sex or age. Tundra swans had high levels of creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, amylase, and alkaline phosphatase compared with some other avian species (values were up to 7 times greater), possibly indicating capture myopathy. However, concentrations were much lower (up to 8 times lower) than in other waterfowl exposed to similar or more intensive capture methods. White blood cell count and hematocrit values were similar to other waterfowl species, and enteric Salmonella spp. and E. coli O157:H7 were not present among birds sampled. Our data provide the first biochemical, hematologic, and bacteriologic reference values for wild Tundra Swans.
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Vol. 48 • No. 1