Variation of West Nile virus antibody prevalence in migrating and wintering hawks in Central California

Joshua Hull, Angus Hull, William Reisen, Ying Fang, Holly B Ernest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


To assess the extent of West Nile virus (WNV) exposure of migrating (Marin Headlands) and wintering (Central Valley) hawks in California, plasma from 271 Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), 19 Red-shouldered Hawks (B. lineatus), and 30 Cooper's Hawks (Accipiter cooperii) was tested for WNV antibodies during the winter of 2004-2005. WNV antibodies were found in 5% of migrating and 15% of wintering Red-tailed Hawks, 20% of migrating and 58% of wintering Red-shouldered Hawks, and 13% of migrating Cooper's Hawks. No individuals demonstrated visible signs of WNV illness. Red-tailed Hawks that tested positive for WNV antibodies displayed no difference from Red-tailed Hawks without WNV antibodies in weight to wing chord ratio or white blood cell counts. In the Central Valley, WNV antibodies were significantly more prevalent in Red-shouldered Hawks than in Red-tailed Hawks. Significantly more Red-tailed Hawks sampled on wintering grounds tested positive for WNV antibodies than Red-tailed Hawks sampled during migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-439
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Antibody
  • Arbovirus
  • Flavivirus
  • Hematology
  • Raptor
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • West Nile virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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