Feather mites are found on most species of birds and the birds captured at SWAMP in Lake Forest, IL are no exception. However, little is known about their biology, and there is an ongoing debate on whether or not feather mites are parasites. We examined three years of SWAMP data for eleven species to determine whether or not feather mite infestation is correlated with poor physiological condition. We found that in a few cases feather mites are significantly related to birds with poorer physiological condition. In these few cases, birds had a reduced wing average wing length, reduced fat score, or a reduced average weight. Feather mites seem to be parasitic or at the very least they may be correlated with negative physiological conditions. In the future a more precise feather mite scoring will provide a better basis for comparison.
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