Cranberry Lake Biological Station

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Determining if one type of bird is more victim to parasites than another will give us insight into the health of birds at Cranberry Lake. Infected birds have the capacity to spread parasites to other humans and animals through their droppings. We hypothesize that ground bird species will have a higher number of parasites in their droppings per milligram of fecal matter than canopy bird species. Samples were collected from the droppings around six bird feeders set on campus and the surrounding trails. Samples were also collected on the leaf litter and grass trails on and around campus. We sampled feces from 27 birds. The 27 birds represent the experimental units and the 27 fecal samples represent the sampling units. A portion of each sample was analyzed with a fecal smear and fecal float, and the number and type of parasite per milligram of sample was determined. A T-test was used to compare the mean number of parasites in each gram of the canopy and ground bird groups. An ordination analysis was completed to compare all of the fecal samples. Results will be presented and discussed. The anticipated findings are of importance, because the ground birds that were used in our study are common in areas of high human activity, enabling an increased chance of parasite transfer.



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