Serum or plasma samples from raptors that prey or scavenge upon aquatic birds were tested by a commercially available blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the evidence of antibodies to influenza A virus. Samples were taken from birds (n 616) admitted to two rehabilitation centers in the United States. In addition, samples from 472 migrating peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) trapped on autumnal and vernal migrations for banding purposes were also tested. Only bald eagles were notably seropositive (22/406). One each of peregrine falcon, great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), and Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperi) from a total of 472, 81, and 100, respectively, were also positive. None of the turkey vultures (n 21) or black vultures (n 8) was positive. No clinical signs referable to avian influenza were seen in any bird at the time of capture. These data indicate that, among raptors, bald eagles do have exposure to influenza A viruses.
- influenza A virus
- peregrine falcon