Environmental Health

Reporting Dead Birds

Submission of Dead Birds for West Nile Virus Surveillance

Rock Island County Health Department collects dead perching birds (passiformes) for West Nile Virus surveillance testing during the months of May through September.  Crows, blue jays, grackles, starlings, sparrows, finches, robins, cardinals, flycatchers, swallows, catbirds, mockingbirds, warblers, and wrens will be accepted for testing.  Raptors (hawks and owls only) and gulls can be tested, but only if permission is received from IDPH in advance.  No waterfowl, larger birds such as vultures, or endangered birds will be tested.

Please make a reasonable effort to identify the bird.  Images of common Illinois perching birds can be found atwww.illinoisraptorcenter.org//birdguide.html ExternalLink.gif

Additional bird images and descriptions are available at the following IDPH websitewww.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnvsurveillance.htm ExternalLink.gif.

Birds to be submitted must meet the following criteria:

  • Deceased for less than 48 hours.  Should be put on chill packs or refrigerated as soon as possible. 
  • No obvious decomposition or damage by scavenging animals
  • No obvious cause of death such as trauma, flying into windows or gunshots

For testing, please contact:

Rock Island County Health Department
Monday thru Thursday
(309) 558-2840

Please do not bring birds into the Health Department office. A representative of the health department will pick up the bird for testing.