Birds get malaria, too

Just like people, birds have the misfortune of being visited by a variety of blood-sucking insects, insects that can transmit all manner of parasites through their bites. Some of those parasites, including ones related to human malaria, come in the form of haemosporidia--single-celled protozoans that take up residence in their host's bloodstream. Using modern lab techniques, scientists are now able to discover the diversity of these parasites living in the bloodstream of wild birds by isolating their DNA from the blood of infected birds.

New paper published about bird migration in Africa

During each of my last two expeditions to Africa with the Field Museum--April-May 2012 to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and March-April 2013 to western Uganda--I've made observations of northbound migrating birds. While visible migration ("vizmig" to the Brits) is extremely well known in places like the United States and Europe, where bird observatories have been set up to monitor just such migrations, it is virtually unknown in Africa, or at least seldom published on. So I decided to write up my observations, including migrating raptors, bee-eaters, and swallows.

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