Report Dead Birds

dead crow

Types of Dead Birds Collected by Vector Control:

  • Crows
  • Ravens
  • Jays
  • Hawks
  • Owls
  • Falcons

If you find a dead bird of one of these types, contact:

(858) 694-2888
Mon-Fri 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

(858) 505-6657
weekends, holidays, or outside business hours

vector@sdcounty.ca.gov during business hours (8am-5pm,
M-F) only

Why We Collect and Test

The Vector Control Program collects and tests certain kinds of dead birds for the presence of West Nile virus, which can be transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. These birds are susceptible to West Nile virus and are good indicators that the disease may be present. Residents are encouraged to report dead birds to Vector Control for testing. Disease surveillance and early detection of vector-borne disease helps to protect public health and make neighborhoods healthy places to live, work and play.

Criteria for Collecting Dead Birds for Testing

The bird must have been dead for less than 24 hours. If you are not sure if the bird you have found is less than 24 hours old, look for the following clues:

  1. The bird should not be stiff
  2. There should be no ants or flies on the bird
  3. The bird should not have a foul odor
  4. The bird should be intact
    • No missing body parts
    • No physical injuries
    • Eyeballs must be intact (disease testing requires bird eye fluid)

DO NOT FREEZE THE BIRD.

Safe Handling of Dead Birds

Use caution if you must handle a dead bird:

  • Do not touch dead birds with your bare hands.
  • Wear gloves or use a shovel to pick the bird up.
  • Wear protective eyewear to prevent bird fluids from being splashed into your eyes if the bird is wet, large, or covered with feces.
  • Do not eat or smoke while handling the bird.
  • Double bag the dead bird by placing it into one plastic bag and then placing that bag into another plastic bag.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water IMMEDIATELY after handling the bird.

Questions?

  (858) 694-2888

  vector@sdcounty.ca.gov