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The effects of bird feeders on local densities of Ixodes scapularis ticks and prevalence of
Lyme disease were examined in residential areas of Dutchess County, NY. Ticks were collected, counted, and analyzed for Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes in 2001-2002 on residential properties with and without bird feeders. Tick densities and infection prevalence were not significantly different on properties with and without bird feeders. Furthermore, analysis of a questionnaire, administered to 580 local residents in 2001, showed that bird feeders were not associated with the prevalence of
Lyme disease. These observations suggest that bird feeders should not be considered a risk factor for
Lyme disease in this residential setting.