This study determined the occurrence and identity of chewing lice (Mallophaga) on 35 clinically healthy raptors presented with traumatic injuries at the California Raptor Center during the summers of 1993 and 1994. Samples of lice were collected and preserved in 70% ethanol during physical examinations within 24 hours of admission. Eleven species of chewing lice were collected and identified from 7 species of raptors, including 2 long-term captive birds. All louse species except 1 were on their usual, previously documented raptor hosts. Four of the 10 species of free-living birds examined had no lice, but their sample sizes were small (1–3 birds each). At least 1 bird from each of the other 6 raptor species harbored some lice, but only 2 species, an American kestrel (Falco sparverius) and a barn owl (Tyto alba) were sampled in useful numbers. One of 8 kestrels yielded lice (1 species), and 4 of 14 barn owls were infested with lice (representing 2 species). Two captive birds, a spotted owl (Strix occidentalis) and a Swainson's hawk (Buteo swainsoni), were infested with lice (1 species each) after 463 days and 1198 days in captivity, respectively.
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Vol. 15 • No. 4