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Volume 18, Number 10—October 2012

Wild Birds and Urban Ecology of Ticks and Tick-borne Pathogens, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2005–2010

Sarah A. HamerComments to Author , Tony L. Goldberg, Uriel D. Kitron, Jeffrey D. Brawn, Tavis K. Anderson, Scott R. Loss, Edward D. Walker, and Gabriel L. Hamer
Author affiliations: Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA (S.A. Hamer, E.D. Walker, G.L. Hamer); Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA (S.A. Hamer, G.L. Hamer); University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA (T.L. Goldberg, T.K. Anderson); Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (U.D. Kitron); University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA (J.D. Brawn, S.R. Loss); and Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, Washington, DC, USA (S.R. Loss)

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Table 1

Birds sampled for presence of ticks in southwestern suburban Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2005–2010*

Bird Migratory
status Total no.
examined Proportion
infested No. birds infested with
Haemaphysalis leporispalustris
Ixodes dentatus
I. scapularis
Larvae Nymphs Larvae Larvae Nymphs
American goldfinch B, M 363
American redstart† B, M 38 0.03
American robin B, M 1,049 0.01 2 4 1 4 2
Baltimore oriole B, M 31
Barn swallow B, M 7
Black and white warbler NB, M 9
Black-capped chickadee B, NM 25
Blue jay B, M 22 0.09 2
Brown-headed cowbird B, M 65
Brown thrasher B, M 12
Cedar waxwing B, M 16
Chipping sparrow B, M 24
Common grackle B, M 105 0.03 2 1
Common yellowthroat B, M 8
Dark-eyed junco NB, M 8
Downy woodpecker B, M 50
Eastern wood-pewee B, M 5
Empidonax spp. flycatchers B, M 27
European starling B, M 141 0.01 1
Fox sparrow NB, M 5
Gray catbird B, M 429 0.01 3 3
Gray-cheeked thrush NB, M 18 0.11 1 1
Hermit thrush B, M 5
House finch B, M 157
House sparrow B, NM 2,097 0.01 25 4
House wren B, M 57 0.02 1
Indigo bunting B, M 19
Least flycatcher B, M 5
Lincoln's sparrow NB, M 5
Magnolia warbler NB, M 19
Mourning dove B, M 63
Mourning warbler NB, M 5
Nashville warbler NB, M 7
Northern cardinal B, NM 311 0.04 9 3 1
Northern flicker B, M 10
Northern waterthrush NB, M 44
Orchard oriole B, M 4
Ovenbird B, M 41 0.10 4
Palm warbler NB, M 6
Red-eyed vireo B, M 11
Red-winged blackbird B, M 191 0.01 1 2
Song sparrow B, M 228 0.07 13 6 1
Swainson's thrush‡ NB, M 131 0.08 4 4 1 1
Tennessee warbler NB, M 9
Tree swallow B, M 14
Veery B, M 8
Warbling vireo B, M 35
White-crowned sparrow NB, M 11
White-throated sparrow NB, M 61 0.02 1
Willow flycatcher B, M 63
Wilson's warbler NB, M 8
Yellow warbler B, M 34
Yellow-bellied flycatcher NB, M 6 0.17 1
Yellow-rumped warbler NB, M 26
All 6,197§ 0.02 64 28 6 6 5

*Empidonax spp. flycatchers that could not be identified are considered at the genus level. Numbers of birds infested by larvae and nymphs of 3 tick species are indicated. Common names conform to species as specified by the American Ornithologist Union. B, confirmed breeding in Chicago region; M, migratory; NB, non-breeder in Chicago region; NM, non-migratory. Blank spaces mean none infested.
†One American redstart infested with a single Amblyomma longirostre nymph.
‡One Swainson's thrush infested with a single A. nodosum larva.
§This total includes 49 unlisted captured birds from the following species: American woodcock, American tree sparrow, black-billed cuckoo, black-throated blue warbler, blackpoll warbler, brown creeper, Carolina wren, Canada warbler, Eastern towhee, Eurasian collared–dove, great crested flycatcher, golden-crowned kinglet, hairy woodpecker, killdeer, marsh wren, olive-sided flycatcher, red-breasted nuthatch, rose-breasted grosbeak, ruby-crowned kinglet, savannah sparrow, scarlet tanager, swamp sparrow, white-breasted nuthatch, and wood thrush. The sample size for each of these species was <5, and none of the birds harbored ticks.

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Page created: September 14, 2012
Page updated: September 14, 2012
Page reviewed: September 14, 2012
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.