Dead birds are some of the earliest indicators that West Nile virus activity is increasing in an area. West Nile virus is primarily a bird disease that is transmitted through mosquito bites.
If you have found a dead bird in Placer County, you may report it to our office by calling (916) 380-5444 or the California Department of Public Health West Nile Virus Hotline at 1 (877) 968-2473. You may also visit California’s Department of Public Health West Nile Virus website.
Video on Reporting Dead Bird
After you have reported a dead bird, you will be contacted to determine the condition of the bird and if it is suitable to be picked up for West Nile virus testing. All dead bird reports are used for surveillance purposes and are extremely valuable to us even if the bird is not submitted for testing.
If you have not been contacted within 24 hours of your report, you may safely dispose of the dead bird in your trash.
Although there is no evidence that West Nile virus can be acquired by handling dead birds, it is best not to handle the dead bird with your bare hands. Use gloves, a shovel, or a plastic bag to place the bird in a trash bag for disposal.
Please DO NOT freeze dead birds.
To find out what happens after you report a dead bird, see this link on the California Department of Public health website: http://westnile.ca.gov/wnv_faqs_basics.php?id=88.