The West Nile virus (WNV) is an arthropod- borne virus that has recently been reported in the Western Hemisphere.(Found in New york in an American Crow in 1999.) Birds are the natural hosts for this virus. WNV can be transmitted from birds to other birds and animals, including humans, through the bite of mosquitoes. American crows still appear to be the most susceptible species to this disease. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Fort Collins, Co. have confirmed that 17 native bird species have tested virus positive for WNV; Connecticut has added a Cooper's Hawk as an 18th species.

The specific cause of mortality was not determined for all birds. Except for American crows, most species are represented by few specimens.

The species include: American crows, Fish crow, Ring-billed gull Yellow-billed cuckoo, Rock dove, Sandhill crane* Blue jay, Bald eagle* Laughing gull,* Black-crowned night-heron,* Mallard,* American robin, , Red-tailed hawk, Broad-winged hawk, Cooper's hawk, Belted kingfisher, American kestrel, Herring gull. * Captive bird WNV has been diagnosed in birds from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Information taken from USGS Wildlife Health Alert #99-02B.

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