National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Palearctic Migratory Bird Survey

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The Palearctic Migratory Bird Survey (PMS), a survey of migratory birds, their ectoparasites, and the viruses they carry, was conducted in the eastern Mediterranean from May 1966 to January 1971. The PMS involved scientists of the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Naval Medical Research Unit, and Yale University, and was funded by the Army Research Office, the Smithsonian Foreign Currency Program, and the Smithsonian Research Foundation. The primary PMS operation site was in northern Egypt. Surveys were also conducted for a year in Cyprus and two years in Israel, where time was spent on bird banding and tick collecting. In total, over 10,000 birds were handled during the survey, and more than 4,400 tick specimens were collected. A large number of blood samples were also taken for further study. George E. Watson, Chairman, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, and Curator, Division of Birds, National Museum of Natural History, was Principal Investigator.


Watson, G. E., & Smithsonian Institution. (1972). A serological and ectoparasite survey of migratory birds in northeast Africa: Final report. Washington: Dept. of Vertebrate Zoology, Smithsonian Institution.

Date Range

1966 - 1971


  • Animals
  • Entomology
  • Birds
  • Ornithology


  • Cyprus
  • Israel
  • Mediterranean Sea


Expedition name