BY AMY SMART, TIMES COLONIST FEBRUARY 9, 2014 4:00 PM
A Vancouver Island hawk is the first raptor to join the list of species believed to spread Lyme disease.
Research scientist John Scott said the Cooper’s hawk was found with 22 ticks on it, four of which were infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. It’s the first raptor, or bird of prey, known to host the bacteria.
“This is the first report of ticks on a Cooper’s hawk,” said research scientist John Scott from Fergus, Ont., where he works for the Lyme Disease Association of Ontario.
“It’s the first in the world, really.”
The Cooper’s hawk was found on a doorstep in Oak Bay on Oct. 29, 2012, after it likely flew into a window. It was delivered to the Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin, where it was examined.
“It was alert and in fair condition, but its right eye was closed. That’s where the ticks were found —