Enteritis as a cause of mortality in the western bluebird (Sialia mexicana)

Avian Dis. 2001 Jul-Sep;45(3):760-3.


Increased mortalities in adult western bluebirds utilizing nestboxes were noted in western Oregon during 1998 and 1999. A necrohemorrhagic enteritis was found in 8 of 10 birds submitted for necropsy. Acanthocephalan parasites were present in four of eight birds with enteritis. Microscopic changes consistent with necrotic or ulcerative enteritis were commonly present. Anaerobic culture of the intestine yielded Clostridium perfringens in three of three birds. Genotype analysis of two of these isolates revealed them to be C. perfringens type A. Bacterial enteritis is believed to be the cause of the increased mortality rate, but further investigation is required to prove a definitive link to a clostridial agent.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acanthocephala / isolation & purification
  • Animals
  • Bird Diseases / microbiology
  • Bird Diseases / mortality*
  • Bird Diseases / parasitology
  • Cause of Death
  • Clostridium Infections / microbiology
  • Clostridium Infections / mortality
  • Clostridium Infections / veterinary*
  • Clostridium perfringens / isolation & purification*
  • Enteritis / microbiology
  • Enteritis / mortality
  • Enteritis / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Helminthiasis, Animal / pathology
  • Male
  • Oregon / epidemiology
  • Songbirds*