The black-backed woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) is a species of management concern in California. As part of a study of black-backed woodpecker home range size and foraging ecology, nine birds in Lassen National Forest (Shasta and Lassen Counties, California) were radio-tracked during the 2011 breeding season. One of the marked birds was found dead after being tracked for a 10-wk period in which it successfully nested. A postmortem examination of the dead bird revealed that it was emaciated and autolyzed, with the presumptive cause being numerous spiruroid nematodes of the genus Procyrnea in the gizzard. This first observation of Procyrnea nematodes in a black-backed woodpecker is notable because the Procyrnea infection was considered lethal and because Procyrnea has been implicated in substantial die-offs in other bird species, including woodpeckers.
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