Report individual dead birds of
any species (except pigeons and
doves) to the California WNV Dead Bird
Hotline at 877-WNV-BIRD or 877-968-2473,
or more dead birds of
any species for possible additional
testing to Veterinary Public Health at
Why report dead birds?
Mosquitoes can infect many types of birds with West
Nile Virus (WNV).
Some bird species, like
crows, get very sick from WNV and usually die from
testing birds for WNV, we can track the virus
in our environment. Your reports
help us monitor Los Angeles County for WNV.
Never touch a dead animal directly with your bare
hands. Use a shovel or cover your hands (e.g.
wearing gloves) when
moving dead birds. Always wash your hands thoroughly
after handling a bird. Do not bring dead birds indoors.
What types of dead birds should be reported?
All reports of dead birds are helpful but not all
birds can be tested for disease.
Only freshly dead, adult birds
will be tested for WNV. Testing is
performed on birds that have been dead for a
short time (24 hours or less) and that are not
rotten or covered with ants. Baby birds will not be
tested. Testing for other diseases may be done
where there is a cluster of three or more dead
birds. Our program performs testing for WNV on all
bird species except doves, pigeons, ducks and
How to report a dead bird
and prepare it for testing.
Only freshly dead birds that have been properly prepared will be
picked up for testing.
Watch this video from the California Department
of Public Health to learn how to collect a bird for
testing. Reporting a dead bird involves the
For a single dead bird,
call 877-WNV-BIRD (CA Department of
Public Health), or visit
here. For clusters of 3 of more dead
213-288-7060 (LA County Public
the the type of bird. WNV
testing can be performed on
all bird species except doves and pigeons.
the location where the bird
was originally found.
the freshness of the bird.
the bird without
touching it. A freshly dead animal will have almost
no odor, ants or maggots, and will not be dried
whether you are able to put it in a bag.
Never touch a dead bird
directly with your bare hands. Use
disposable gloves or place a plastic
bag (without holes) over your hand.
Turn the bag inside out over the
bird and then tie the bag closed.
Double bag it this way.
● If the bird
IS NOT good for testing –
discard in outdoor trash container and skip to #7.
● If the bird
fresh and good for testing, follow
the rest of the steps below.
birds for testing) Say where you
will put the bird for pickup.
Keep dead bird
cool. Place the
bird where staff can easily find it. Place the
bagged bird in a shady accessible location (such as
on a porch) and tell us where to find it. If possible, tape a
note on the outer bag saying: "FOR
HEALTH DEPARTMENT". On hot days, place a separate, sealed bag
of ice on top of the bird. Do not let ice melt
directly onto the bird. Put both the bagged bird and
bag of ice in a third plastic bag.
hands after you finish
handling the bird in the bag.
Note that the testing agency will
call you with the test results as
soon as they are available.
Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.