TitleEnteritis as a cause of mortality in the western bluebird (Sialia mexicana).
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsBildfell, RJ, Eltzroth, EK, Songer, JG
JournalAvian diseases
Date Published2001 Jul-Sep

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.