What Do I Do If I Find A Dead Bird?

There are many ordinary causes of wild bird mortality including disease, weather events, predation, trauma from flying into buildings, windows or power lines and legal pest control.  In many instances, dead wild birds may not be routinely collected by authorities for testing. 

According to Indiana State Department of Health guidelines, if you need to dispose of a dead bird, do not handle it with your bare hands.  Use gloves or a plastic bag turned inside out over your hand to pick up the bird and dispose of the bird/bag in the trash.  You can follow these recommended disposal procedures regardless of the cause of death, if testing is not available.

Wild birds cannot be stuffed or mounted for display without a permit. A person also cannot posses any parts such as feathers, nests, or eggs without a proper permit.  Exempted from these permit requirements are European starlings, House sparrows, and Pigeons.

Click on links below for additional information.

Currently, the most common diseases of concern in birds are Avian Influenza, Avian Conjunctivitis, Histoplasmosis, and West Nile Virus. 

If you find multiple dead wild birds in an area, you can report it to your District Wildlife Biologist.  They will inform you if further action is needed or if the birds should be tested.

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