Body Size and Hematological Values for Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) Breeding in the Northeastern United States
Keywords:Herring gulls, Larus argentatus, seabirds, hematology, serum chemistry, body size, breeding gulls
With a substantial number of herring gulls (Larus argentatus) being seen each year at wildlife clinics and wildlife rehabilitation facilities, it is clear that there is a need for hematological reference values for this species. Being able to compare values from gulls in these settings to reference ranges available from healthy, actively breeding gulls will provide useful information regarding their health. Surprisingly, there are very few published studies with hematological data specific to herring gulls. In this study, serum chemistry values and body size measurements were obtained from approximately 20 incubating herring gulls at two breeding islands—Appledore Island, Maine, USA and Kent Island, New Brunswick, Canada. The values found were compared to those in the published literature obtained from a number of similar species. This comparison indicated that the hematological values from the herring gulls sampled on Appledore and Kent Islands are similar to those found in other gull species. Therefore, the data collected in this study represent ranges of normal hematological values for healthy, breeding herring gulls.
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