Never touch a dead
bird or squirrel with your bare hands. Wash your hands
well after handling any dead animal.
Thank you for helping us to monitor Los Angeles County for West Nile Virus
(WNV)! Your help is greatly
needed and appreciated. All reports of dead birds
and tree squirrels are helpful. Please read below for
details. You can also report local dead birds
and squirrels to the State of California's West Nile
this video to learn more.
Testing availability varies by season.
When available, testing can only be performed on
freshly dead carcasses that have been safely
bagged and put in a secure place. We will contact you with the results of tests performed on the dead bird or tree squirrel that you report.
version of these instructions.
NOTE: In cases of die-offs of any species (3 or more dead in
same place, same time) additional testing resources may
be available. Please still report all dead birds and
squirrels - all reports are helpful in monitoring the
Reporting and Collected Dead Birds and
Squirrels for WNV Testing.
- Report all dead birds and tree squirrels in Los Angeles County. Please call us or report online. Report all types of dead birds. Report only tree squirrels, not ground squirrels (which burrow). Not all dead birds and tree squirrels can be tested for disease, but all reports are helpful. Please report the location, date, number of dead birds/tree squirrels, and type of birds.
- Only freshly dead, adult birds and tree squirrels can be tested.
Testing availability varies by the time of the year. Tests for diseases will be performed on adult birds and tree squirrels that have been dead a short time (24 hours or fewer), and that are not rotten or covered with ants. Baby birds and squirrels will not be tested. Single pigeons or doves usually are not tested. In general, West Nile Virus tests are run on all birds and tree squirrels that are collected. Avian Influenza testing may only be done on birds where there is a cluster of dead birds (three or more). Die-offs of waterfowl and shorebirds are of the highest priority for testing.
- How to prepare bird or tree squirrel for testing.
Only birds or tree squirrels that have been placed in a plastic bag and put in a safe place can be collected for testing.
- Put in bag. Do not touch the dead bird or tree squirrel with your bare hands. Use disposable gloves or place a plastic bag (without holes) over your hand. Turn the bag inside out over the animal and then tie the bag closed. Double bag it this way.
- Keep cool. If possible, keep the body cool by placing a separate, sealed bag of ice on top of the bird. Do not let ice melt directly onto the body. Put both the bagged bird/tree squirrel and bag of ice in a third plastic bag.
- Place in view of street. Place the bag in a shady location where it can be seen from the street (such as on a porch) and let us know in your report where to find it.
- Wash your hands well with soap and water right after handling the body, even though you did not touch it directly.
- Note. If possible, tape a note on the outer bag saying: "FOR
PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT."
Report dead birds or tree squirrels to:
or use the Animal Disease Reporting Portal