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Many animals have evolved mechanisms to detect and avoid parasitized conspecifics, primarily through odour cues, but whether birds are capable of odour-mediated parasite avoidance is unknown. Recently, we showed that exposing song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) to avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium sp.) alters the chemical composition of their preen oil, which is the major source of body odour in birds. Here, we presented song sparrows with preen oil from uninfected (sham-inoculated) and malaria-infected conspecifics, predicting that birds would spend more time with odour cues from uninfected than infected birds. Birds without detectable malarial infections spent about 50% more time with preen oil from uninfected than infected conspecifics, and females spent nearly twice as much time with preen oil from uninfected than infected conspecifics. However, neither difference was statistically significant. Song sparrows may be unable to detect odour cues of infection, but further experiments are needed to confirm or refute this.