Dead Bird Reports Help Find Areas Where West Nile Virus May be Transmitted
California’s statewide Dead Bird Hotline is open and accepting dead bird reports by telephone. Online reports are accepted year-round.
The hotline is an important part of the District’s West Nile virus surveillance program because birds are a reservoir for the virus and when an infected bird dies, it can often be the first sign of the virus in a specific area.
Residents who find a dead bird should call the hotline at 1-877-WNV-BIRD or enter a report online. The District is notified of the report and a District employee will often pick up the bird for testing.
Not all birds are suitable for testing; however, each report provides crucial information for mosquito control and mosquito-borne disease detection efforts. If the Hotline operator determines the dead bird is not suitable for testing, the resident will be instructed to double bag the bird and discard it in an outside trash can. Whether or not the bird is tested, reporting it is important because it helps determine where virus activity is occurring. Our technicians can then concentrate their inspections for mosquitoes in the potential hot spot areas.