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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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