Dead Bird Collection Criteria

Collection Period

Dead Birds will be collected between April 16 and October 15.


  1. The following dead birds, will be accepted for testing. (all others will be discarded without testing): 
  • Bluejays
  • Cardinals
  • Catbirds
  • Crows
  • Finches
  • Flycatchers
  • Grackles
  • Hawks
  • Mocking Birds
  • Owls
  • Pigeons
  • Robins
  • Sparrows
  • Starlings
  • Swallows
  • Warblers
  • Wrens
  1. West Nile Virus Bird CollectionBirds should only be submitted if they are freshly dead (within 24 to 48 hours) and have not decomposed. Birds should have no obvious cause of death such as being found crushed in a roadway and most likely killed by a motor vehicle, or killed by gunshot.
  2. We will not accept dead birds that present with any of the following:
    • Bloating with decomposition gases
    • Damage due to scavenging animals
    • Dried/deflated eyes
    • Maggots present
    • Strong odor present
  3. If the bird is acceptable for testing, use rubber gloves when picking up dead or sick birds. If you do not have gloves, insert your hand into a plastic bag and use it like a glove.