Found a Dead Bird? Here’s Who to Call

West Nile virus infects certain birds, according to Pennsylvania’s West Nile Virus Control Program, so reporting dead birds can help health officials track the virus.

Local and state health officials are tracking the spread of West Nile virus to help control the virus in your backyard.

They do this by testing mosquitoes and other dead animals for the mosquito-borne virus.

If you see a dead bird, you can report the death on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s form for reporting dead birds. (Click here for the form.)

Pennsylvania’s West Nile Virus Control Program gives the following tips for dealing with dead birds:

  • The West Nile Control Coordinators are collecting 5 birds per week from each county for testing for West Nile virus, from May 1 through October 31. The program is only testing corvids, raptors, and jays for testing at the present time. If you are interested in submitting your dead bird for testing and your bird is a corvid, raptor, or jay, call your West Nile County Coordinator to see if your county is still accepting submissions, and for instructions.
  • Avoid bare-hand contact when handling dead birds. Use rubber gloves when handling a dead bird. If you do not have gloves, insert your hand into a plastic bag, grasp the bird carefully and invert the bag over the bird. Each bird should be placed in tied plastic bag, and then placed inside a second tied bag.
  • If you are not submitting the bird for testing, the bagged bird can be placed in the trash.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after discarding the dead bird.

West Nile County Coordinators:

Chester County
Richard M. Johnson
2 N. High St., Ste. 512
West Chester, PA 19380-3025
(610) 344-6238
(610) 344-6727

Delaware County
Maureen Hennessey-Herman
201 W. Front St., Rm. 202
Media, PA 19063-2708
(610) 690-7675
(610) 690-7667

Montgomery County
Pam Lawn
PO Box 311
Norristown, PA 19404-0311
(610) 278-5117
(610) 278-5167

William J. Ferraro
1401 JF Kennedy Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19102-1581
(215) 685-9005
(215) 685-9003

John Black13 July 16, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Maria Steinhardt July 16, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Having just had a dead crow on our property, Chester County no longer tests crows. They do however want you to report it online. Maria, Berwyn


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