Dear Cayuga-birders,

WEST NILE VIRUS already diagnosed in our crows!!!   :-((((((
        We who follow the crows want to report that Vet Pathology has just 
diagnosed West Nile Virus as cause of death of a crow in Cayuga Heights, in 
late April.   Another diagnosis is pending , but to be honest, this one is an 
even more classic case of West Nile Virus.  The first was a female incubating 
her clutch of eggs. The two crows lived within a few houses of each other, 
although were not in the same family group.  Our previous early record was the 
first week of June,which was followed by our first strong outbreak in 2002.  

        Take this as a warning that mosquitoes must have overwintered well in 
our urban/suburban areas and some are carrying WNV.  And if you have had WNV 
deaths among crows in your area before, this is an indication that emerging 
mosquitoes may already be carrying it.  The culprits are Culex pipiens, the 
dusk-biting house mosquito, that reproduces in rain-filled gutters, bird baths, 
flower pot bases, etc.  They love warm, small, somewhat putrid water bodies. 

As a second point, only somewhat related to this:  We would appreciate any 
information leading to the discovery of a crow’s nest!  New this year:  one of 
my graduate students has begun a study of FISH CROWS, and we are thus 
particularly interested in Fish Crow nests.  .  So far we have found two, both 
with banded fish crows as members of the pair.  Very exciting, but we need 
more—both Fish Crows and American Crows!  Also with John Confer, we are busy 
documenting Merlin displacement-takeovers of crow nests.  So far we have two of 
those, on Fish Crow and one American Crow nest.  I am also very interested in 
data on rural American Crow nests.  Alerts can be sent to me or to Kevin, by 
phone or email. 

Thanks for help on the latter points and take note of the former point!

However unpopular it makes me, I am hoping for a cold May-June to hold back the 
mosquito populations.


Anne B Clark
147 Hile School Rd
Freeville, NY 13068


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