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 Step 1: How to Report Dead Birds

Crows and blue jays are the birds most likely to die when infected with West Nile virus (WNV).   Other birds such as sparrows, common grackles, owls, and hawks may also become infected with WNV and die.  Public health agencies often track or test dead birds because they may be the first sign of WNV activity in an area.   The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) no longer tests dead birds for the presence of West Nile virus (WNV).

You can use the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services online form for reporting a dead crow, blue jay, grackle, sparrow, hawk, or owl. Click on the Dead Bird Reporting Form using the link in the left sidebar. This information is posted weekly at http://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/westnilevirus/reports.php.

Birds that die from WNV infection usually are found by themselves and not as part of a mass die-off at a single time and place. If you find a cluster of dead birds or other wildlife, the primary cause of death may not be WNV. Before you report the incident here, please inform your local wildlife officials about the incident.

Please DO NOT REPORT birds that are decomposed, have maggots, smell bad, or are dried out. We are interested in birds that have recently died. Only report dead birds found in the state of Missouri.

To Dispose of a Dead Bird:
  • Avoid contact with any fluids coming out of the bird.
  • Wear plastic or latex gloves or use several leak-proof plastic bags as a glove.
  • Place the bird in a double plastic bag.
  • Close tightly making sure the claws or beak do not puncture the bags.
  • Place the bird in an outside trash receptacle.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap.

Thank you for your help.