Dead birds and squirrels are often the first indicator that West Nile virus exists in an area. Certain species of birds are very susceptible to West Nile virus and will die quickly after infection, while others can live with the virus. Information on the species and location of infected birds is used to make calculated decisions on mosquito control.
When the District finds West Nile virus in a dead bird, we then trap mosquitoes in the area where the bird was collected to see if they’re infected with the virus. The laboratory typically sets 20 traps in a 1/2 mile radius around the location where the bird was found. The traps are collected the following morning and the mosquitoes are tested for West Nile virus.
For more information about West Nile virus, visit the California West Nile virus website.
The District collects and tests suitable birds of the following groups: corvids, finches, sparrows, owls, and hawks.
You can submit a dead bird report to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) year-round using their online form, or you can call and report a dead bird to the WNV Call Center from April to October. The phone number is: