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Volume 10, Number 12—December 2004

Research

West Nile Virus Outbreak in North American Owls, Ontario, 2002

Ady Y. Gancz*Comments to Author , Ian K. Barker*, Robbin Lindsay†, Antonia Dibernardo†, Katherine McKeever‡, and Bruce Hunter*
Author affiliations: *University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada; †Health Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; ‡Owl Foundation, Vineland, Ontario, Canada

Main Article

Table 1

Deaths at the Owl Foundation property during a WNV outbreak (July 26–September 28, 2002) and results of real-time RT-PCR on tissues from dead birdsa

Species At risk Died Tested Positive
n (%) Crude DR % WNV-related DR %
Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) 20 20 11 11 (100) 100 100
Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula) 26 26 17 17 (100) 100 100
Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa) 27 27 23 21 (91.3) 100 91.3
Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus) 11 11 11 10 (90.9) 100 90.9
Northern Saw-whet Owl (Ae. acadicus) 13 12 12 12 (100) 92.3 92.3
Northern Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium gnoma) 6 1 1 1 (100) 16.7 16.7
Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) 16 2 2 2 (100) 12.5 12.5
Flammulated Owl (Otus flammeolus) 9 1 1 1 (100) 11.1 11.1
Long-eared Owl (A. otus) 13 3 3 1 (33.3) 23.1 7.7
Great Horned Owl (B. virginianus) 22 2 1 1 (100) 9.1 4.5
Barn Owl (Tyto alba) 10 0 0 0 0
Barred Owl (S. varia) 8 1 1 0 (0) 12.5 0
Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) 10 0 0 0 0
Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) 36 0 0 0 0
Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi) 1 0 0
Spotted Owl (S. oocidentalis) 1 1 1 1 (100)
Tawny Owl (S. aluco) 2 1 1 1 (100)
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) 2 0 0
Peregrine Falcon (F. peregrinus) 2 0 0
Total 235 108 85 79 (92.9) 46 43

aWNV, West Nile virus; RT-PCR, reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction; DR, death rate (calculated when n > 6).

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