Date: 11/13/20 9:38 am From: Mitchell Pruitt <mitchellpruitt24...> Subject: Northern Saw-whet Owls Madison County
The owls keep coming at my banding site in rural Madison County! Captured
and banded numbers 10 and 11 for the season last night.
Part of the research now is collecting blood samples to study parasite
load. Feast your eyes on the attached: among red blood cells, a
leucocytozooan can be seen. Leucocytozooans are present in many birds and
come from black flies and flat flies (hippoboscid flies). For the most
part, it’s normal for wild animals to have blood parasites. Save for a bird
that is highly infected, it probably has no detrimental effect on health,
though it’s not well-studied.
Photo from project colleague Dr. Ashley Love, a post-doc in the DuRant Lab
at the U of A.