Abstract

Red-shouldered hawks (Buteo lineatus) are threatened in Wisconsin and long-term data suggest that nest productivity is low in the state for unknown reasons. Our objective was to determine whether red-shouldered hawks in northeast Wisconsin were infected with parasites that could contribute to low nest productivity. We examined nestlings for the presence of Trichomonas gallinae, Protocalliphora avium, and blood parasites in June 2006 and 2007. We did not detect T. gallinae in throat swabs taken from 24 nestlings in 2007. Ear canals of nestlings were parasitized by P. avium larvae in 10 of 11 (91%) nests and in 22 of 24 (92%) nestlings. Larvae were found in higher intensity in 1 ear relative to the other. Leucocytozoon toddi was present in 90.5% (38/42) of the nestlings. At least 1 bird in each nest was infected. Intensity of L. toddi averaged 48.6 ± 58.3 infected cells per 2,000 erythrocytes (2.4 ± 2.9%). No other blood parasites were identified.

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