Wildflowers bloom in the Sierra Nevada
Wildflowers bloom in the Sierra Nevada

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Dead Bird Reporting

In 2004 and 2005 the Vector-Borne Disease Prevention Program (VBDPP) picked up dead birds for surveillance testing for West Nile virus. We are no longer picking up dead birds for testing, as the information gained is not very useful for identifying locations that require intensive mosquito control to prevent disease.

Another surveillance method known as "mosquito pooling" is a better indicator for focusing control work. Therefore the VBDPP will continue to use mosquito pooling as the primary surveillance tool for the prevention of West Nile and other mosquito-borne viruses.

The VBDPP requests that the public report any problems with biting mosquitoes by calling 328-2434. These reports will assist the VBDPP staff in identifying areas that require mosquito abatement.

If you have a dead bird and would like to get rid of it, you may complete the following procedure safely without any risk of disease to yourself:

  1. Take a plastic bag that will accommodate the size of the dead carcass and invert it around your hand.
  2. Pick up the bird with your protected hand.
  3. With your other hand wrap the bag around the bird and tie it off.
  4. The bagged bird can then be deposited in an outside garbage receptacle.

By using this procedure you will not come in direct contact with the bird and are protected from any pathogen that might be associated with the dead carcass.

If you are interested in identifying bird species that are susceptible to West Nile virus view the bird identification chart provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.