To assess the potential impacts of West Nile virus (WNV) on a wild population of free-ranging raptors, we investigated the prevalence and effects of WNV on American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) breeding along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in northern Colorado. We monitored kestrel nesting activity at 131 nest boxes from March to August 2004. Of 81 nest attempts, we obtained samples from 111 adults and 250 young. We did not detect WNV in sera; however, 97.3% (108/111) of adults tested positive for WNV neutralizing antibodies, which possibly represented passive transfer of maternal antibodies. Clutch size, hatching, and fledging success in our study did not differ from that previously reported for this species, suggesting that previous WNV exposure in kestrels did not have an effect on reproductive parameters measured in the breeding populations we studied in 2004.
Click on title to download individual files attached to this item.
Potential Metadata Source