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The majority of bird photographs on the Georgia Museum of Natural History's web site were taken by Dr. W. Daniel Sudia of Decatur, Georgia. Dan is retired from the US Public Health Service, Centers For Disease Control Arbovirus Ecology Laboratory, Atlanta, GA. Dr. Sudia and his team conducted laboratory and field studies to determine the virus, mosquito vector, and vertebrate host relationships of arboviruses (arthropod-borne encephalitis viruses). The term "encephalitis" means inflammation of the brain. Arboviruses include Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE), St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE), Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE), and California Encephalitis (CE).

The studies were directed at discovering the natural cycles of viruses in both epidemic and endemic situations throughout the United States to aid in the control of the diseases caused by these viruses. In addition, some studies were done in Central America and northern South America. Birds play a significant role as hosts in Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE), and St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) virus cycles, but not Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE), or California Encephalitis (CE). In the field, birds were captured and blood samples taken for virus isolation and antibody studies. Birds were then immediately released.

Dan combined his interest in photography and birds to produce these photos. The photographic equipment included a Nikkormat camera with 50 mm, 135 mm, 300 mm and close-up lenses. Electronic flash was used as needed. Kodachrome film was used. The slides were placed on a CD Rom, and the .pcd files were converted to .jpg files to permit graphic optimization.


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