West Nile Virus Attacks Channel Island Birds

Biologists on the Channel Islands are worried that an attack of the West Nile virus could decimate the archipelago’s island scrub jay, which is not technically endangered but remains at risk due to its relatively isolated population. To fight back, they’re giving a vaccine to as many of the jays as possible, which they expect to be about 250 individuals by the end of next spring. Among other important roles played by the jays—which are larger than their mainland cousins and coveted by birdwatchers who travel to Santa Cruz Island solely to check them off their life lists—the birds bury acorns all over the landscape, thereby planting the next generation of oak trees.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Helicopter Hits Electrical Wires, Starts Small Fire

A crop duster hit power lines in Ellwood Canyon.

County Accountant Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $2 Million

Forensic audit discovers almost 300 false invoices filed over nine years.

Los Padres ForestWatch Opposes Logging in Condor Country

Timber companies target 2,800 acres of trees near Mt. Pinos along the Tecuya Ridge.

Lawmakers Move to Impede Offshore Oil Leases

A pair of bills aim to counter the federal government's new push for production.

More Money Available for Santa Barbara County’s Disaster Victims

The United Way is giving to Santa Barbara nonprofits and offering direct cash grants.