This time of year when many robins have fledged and the flocks lay low, usually someone starts and alarm that is something to the effect of "I'm not seeing robins, are they in trouble?" Several possible sinister explanations are tossed around and inevitably someone will say, "I see more crows and they eat robin's eggs and babies, crows must be responsible!" That just kind of adds to the whole anti-crow movement that is out there...and now there is this. Oh sure the robin is an innocent looking songster, but now it could be the possible carrier of West Nile Virus and not the dreaded crow?
This is an excerpt in tonight's Star Tribune:
The beloved American robin, not the annoying, raucous crow, may be the more potent source for West Nile virus, according to new research. A DNA analysis of blood taken from the abdomens of 300 mosquitoes trapped in Connecticut in the past three years found that 40 percent fed on the blood of the red-breasted songbird and only 1 percent on crows, said Theodore Andreadis, chief medical entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in Hartford. "I was quite surprised," he said.