Yellow-billed Magpie

Yellow-billed Magpie

Yellow-billed Magpie and West Nile virus

The Yellow-billed Magpie’s range is limited to the Central Valley and Central Coast Ranges of California.  This California native bird suffered dramatic mortality from West Nile virus (WNV).  During 2004-2007 thousands of dead magpies were reported to California Department of Health Services WNV Dead Bird Surveillance Program.  During that time, of the >800 tested, on average approximately 80% tested positive for WNV, the highest WNV-positive percentage of all birds tested in California. 

Effects of West Nile virus and Pathology in Yellow-billed Magpies. Work of Holly Ernest, Leslie Woods, and Bruce Hoar.

Have the magpies lost genetic diversity and become inbred?  How are their populations structured?  see DNA research of Holly Ernest and collaborators

Abundance and distribution of Yellow-billed Magpies - see the work of Scott Crosbie

Habitat needs of Yellow-billed Magpies; field-collected data and computer modeling to describe the climate and vegetation types - see work of Levi Souza

Through collaborations with members of the Yellow-billed Magpie Working Group, the public through Magpie Monitor Program (2004-2010), California Department of Fish and Game, PRBO Conservation Science, The Audubon Society, and other agencies, organizations and ornithologists, we implemented studies to estimate their population size, loss of genetic diversity due to WNV, and viability over time. 

Our Yellow-billed Magpie research is featured in Yellow-billed Magpie account on Birds of North America Online

Yellow-billed Magpie publications

Related reserach publications from Ernest lab:

Estimating Western Scrub-Jay Density in California using multiple covariate distance sampling. Crosbie S, Souza LE, Ernest HB. In Press, The Condor 113(4).

Annual Survival of House Finches in relation to West Nile Virus. Pelligrini AR, Wright S, Reisen WK, Treiterer B, Ernest HB. 2011. The Condor 113(1) 233–238.

West Nile virus antibody surveillance in three Sierra Nevada raptors of conservation concern. Hull JM, Keane JJ, Tell LA, Ernest HB. 2010. The Condor. 112(1):168-172.

West Nile Virus Antibody Prevalence in Free-ranging California Raptors. Hull J.M., A. Hull, H.B. Ernest. 2006. The Condor. 108:435–439.

Holly Ernest, Scott Crosbie, Levi Souza, Lisa Dalbeck , Ben Harmeling, Leslie Woods, Bruce Hoar, and collaborators

Yellow-billed Magpie named Audubon California’s Bird of the Year (2009)

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