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West Nile Virus

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  • jt370
    The most recent edition of Living Bird, Winter 2009, contains an article regarding West Nile Virus in Yellow-billed Magpies. One of the findings of a study of
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 10, 2009
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      The most recent edition of Living Bird, Winter 2009, contains an article regarding West Nile Virus in Yellow-billed Magpies.

      One of the findings of a study of living magpies was that only 5 percent of the sampled birds
      possessed antibodies to the WNV, whereas 25 percent of sampled wild Western Scrub-Jays possessed the WNV antibodies.

      This would lead one to believe that Western Scrub-Jays are somewhat better in surviving the disease than are Yellow-billed Magpies. The only caveat to the percentages is that the live bird sample numbers are rather low, 21 Magpies and a non-stated number of Scrub-Jays.

      John Lewis
      Chico
    • lilithm3@juno.com
      Here s an unscientific observation that delighted me. Over the Thanksgiving holiday (2008) I was in Los Olivos, Solvang, and Buellton. I think I had just
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 11, 2009
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        Here's an unscientific observation that delighted me. Over the Thanksgiving holiday (2008) I was in Los Olivos, Solvang, and Buellton. I think I had just passed the Lincourt Winery and was en route to Los Olivos (can't remember the name of the road at the moment), when I unexpectedly saw a flock of some six or seven Yellow-billed Magpies dashing from one side of the road to the other and back, making a raucous racket.

        It was a heartening sight!

        Sue Jorgenson
        Fullerton/Anaheim CA

        ---------- Original Message ----------
        From: "jt370" <jtajax@...>
        To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [CALBIRDS] West Nile Virus
        Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2009 18:47:00 -0000

        The most recent edition of Living Bird, Winter 2009, contains an article regarding West Nile Virus in Yellow-billed Magpies.

        One of the findings of a study of living magpies was that only 5 percent of the sampled birds
        possessed antibodies to the WNV, whereas 25 percent of sampled wild Western Scrub-Jays possessed the WNV antibodies.

        This would lead one to believe that Western Scrub-Jays are somewhat better in surviving the disease than are Yellow-billed Magpies. The only caveat to the percentages is that the live bird sample numbers are rather low, 21 Magpies and a non-stated number of Scrub-Jays.

        John Lewis
        Chico



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      • wildlightphoto@earthlink.net
        My unscientific observations have suggested a recovery of corvid populations in my area (eastern Sacramento county), including a flock of 20 or so American
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 11, 2009
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          My unscientific observations have suggested a recovery of corvid
          populations in my area (eastern Sacramento county), including a flock of 20
          or so American Crows roosting in my cottonwood tree a few days ago, a sight
          I haven't seen in several years.

          My theory is that the pre-West Nile Virus gene pool had enough diversity
          that some individuals were more resistant to the virus than others, and
          that the offspring of these resistant birds are the ones we're seeing now.
          What may have been disasterous for these species would have been an
          additional environmental stress, for example a significant climatic change,
          at the time when the corvid populations were lowest. They've probably lost
          some genetic diversity in the near term but this should come back
          eventually. Again, my conjecture not based on controlled observations.

          Doug Herr
          Orangevale (eastern Sacramento County)
          http://www.wildlightphoto.com

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        • erpfromca@aol.com
          At the risk of further extending this extended string, I d like to point out that there have been some papers published recently on the declines in CA (in the
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 11, 2009
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            At the risk of further extending this extended string, I'd like to point out
            that there have been some papers published recently on the declines in CA
            (in the Central Valley, in particular) of Yellow-billed Magpies, Scrub Jays and
            other birds and the possible role of West Nile Virus. I suggest folks read:
            Crosbie et al. 2008 Auk 125:542-550, Airola et al. 2007 Central Valley Bird
            Club Bulletin 10:1-22. Also, more recently I published some follow up CBC data
            in the Central Valley Bird Club Bulletin 11:37-44. and 11:53-61.


            Ed Pandolfino
            Carmichael
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