Finding a Dead Bird (Virus Infected Migratory Birds)
While birds cannot directly infect humans, mosquitoes can transmit viruses from infected
birds to humans and animals. If you find a dead bird that you believe could be tested, please follow the steps below.
*Arizona is testing all birds except pigeons, doves and baby birds. Corvid species (e.g. crows, ravens, jays), raptors, and exotic avian species (if housed outside) are the most likely to die suddenly from WNV infection.
To be tested:
- To be eligible for testing, the bird should be dead less than 24 hours , not scavenged or decomposed and with no odor. PLEASE NOTE: if the bird has been dead for over 24 hours, then it is no longer a carrier for West Nile virus. The virus cannot survive the death of its carrier.
- Always wear gloves when handling dead birds.
- Use a locking/sealable plastic bag when picking up bird.
- Turn bag inside out and place hand inside the bag.
- Grab the bird and pull it through the bag, making the bag right side out.
- Seal the bag.
- If the bird is beyond testing state (see step 1), dispose of sealed bag in trash.
- If the bird is suitable for testing (see step 1), refrigerate (DO NOT FREEZE) bird for Maricopa County Department of Public Health testing.
- Call the Maricopa County West Nile Virus Hotline at 602-506-0700 or the Maricopa County Public Health Line at 602-747-7500.