Kurt Gielow, a graduate student at SUNY-ESF is studying birds and tick-borne disease across rural and suburban habitats in Onondaga and Cortland counties. He is seen here conducting part of his survey at the Skaneateles Conservation Area early on Tuesday, June 26. Surveys consist of an observer recording birds along a transect for a standardized time period to estimate their relative abundance and population trends. He and his two assistants set up mesh polyester mist nets along wooded edges and within forested or shrubby habitats to capture birds. Upon capture, birds were disentangled and removed by hand, examined for ticks, and a small blood sample was taken. The birds were then released and flew away seemingly as healthy as ever. The ticks that were collected were stored in ethanol and will be screened by a collaborator at SUNY-ESF.