Replacing blue tit Parus caerulus nests with microwave-treated nests reduces the parasite load on chicks

  • Published source details Hurtrez-Boussès S., Renaud F., Blondel J. & Perret P. (2000) Effects of Ectoparasites of Young on Parents' Behaviour in a Mediterranean Population of Blue Tits. Journal of Avian Biology, 31, 266-269


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove ectoparasites from nests to increase survival or reproductive success

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Remove ectoparasites from nests to increase survival or reproductive success

    A small controlled study in 1996 in Corsica, France (Hurtrez-Boussès et al. 2000) found that there were significantly fewer blowfly Protocalliphora spp. larvae on blue tit Parus caeruleus broods that were repeatedly moved to microwave-treated nests (at two, five, seven, nine, twelve and fifteen days old), than in control broods that were not treated (0.2 parasites/chick for six treated broods vs. 15.0 parasites/chick for nine control broods). Fledging weights, survival and other indicators of reproductive success were not reported.


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