West Nile virus (WNV) was first detected in New York in 1999 and, during its expansion across the continental US, southern Canada, and Mexico, members of the Corvidae (ravens, crows, magpies, and jays) were frequently infected and highly susceptible to the virus. As part of a behavioral study of Steller's Jays (Cyanocitta stelleri) conducted from 2011–14 in the coastal California counties of San Mateo and Santa Cruz, 380 Steller's Jays were captured and tested for antibodies to WNV. Using the wild bird immunoglobulin G enzyme linked immunoassay, we failed to detect antibodies to WNV, indicating either that there was no previous exposure to the virus or that exposed birds had died.
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Vol. 53 • No. 3