Researchers Discover Four New Mite Species Living Inside Ibis and Spoonbill Feathers

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By Meredith Swett Walker If you were to page through a field guide to birds searching for species that look as if they were dreamed up by Dr. Seuss, you’d probably choose some from the family Threskiornithidae, which includes ibises and spoonbills. For instance, the Eurasian spoonbill, a leggy bird that looks like it has […]

Tree-killing Hemlock Woolly Adelgids Hitch Rides on Birds

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By Meredith Swett Walker At first glance, you might not think these little bits of fluff could pose much of a threat. But, like Star Trek’s troublesome tribbles, hemlock woolly adelgids (Adelges tsugae) can quickly multiply and wreak havoc. When these tiny sap-sucking insects were introduced to the forests of the Northeastern United States, they […]

Birds Identified as Hosts of Lyme Disease

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Birds are more important than previously recognized as hosts for Lyme disease-causing bacteria, according to a recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE. The bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is responsible for Lyme disease, was known to be carried by white-footed mice, wood rats, western gray squirrels, and other small mammals, but fewer studies have […]