Tick infestations of birds in coastal Georgia and Alabama

J Parasitol. 2000 Apr;86(2):251-4. doi: 10.1645/0022-3395(2000)086[0251:TIOBIC]2.0.CO;2.


Mist-netted birds were examined for ticks on Jekyll Island, Glynn Co., Georgia (32 bird species) in 1996-1998, and at Fort Morgan, Baldwin Co., Alabama (36 species) in 1998 during fall migration. Sixty-two (14.7%) of 423 birds from Jekyll Island and 22 (13.3%) of 165 birds from Fort Morgan were infested with ticks. The mean number of ticks per infested bird was 2.0 on Jekyll Island and 6.3 at Fort Morgan. Ten species of birds were infested with ticks on Jekyl1 Island where 87% of all ticks were recovered from 3 species: the common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), gray catbird (Dumetella carolinensis), and northern waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis). Eight species of birds were infested with ticks at Fort Morgan where 83% of all ticks were recovered from 3 species: the brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum), swamp sparrow (Melospiza georgiana), and common yellowthroat. Six species of ticks (Amblyomma americanum, Amblyomma maculatum, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, Ixodes brunneus, Ixodes minor, and Ixodes scapularis) were recovered from the Georgia birds, whereas 3 species (A. maculatum, H. leporispalustris, and Ixodes dentatus) were recovered from the Alabama birds. Attempts to isolate Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, the etiologic agent of Lyme borreliosis, from Ixodes spp. ticks recovered from birds were unsuccessful.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alabama / epidemiology
  • Animals
  • Bird Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Bird Diseases / parasitology
  • Female
  • Georgia / epidemiology
  • Ixodes / classification
  • Prevalence
  • Songbirds / parasitology*
  • Tick Infestations / epidemiology
  • Tick Infestations / parasitology
  • Tick Infestations / veterinary*
  • Ticks / classification