Environmental Heatlh

Environmental Health

Report dead birds

The DeKalb County Board of Health is taking reports on dead bird sightings in DeKalb County. Please report any birds that do not have an obvious cause of death, such as injuries from power lines, collisions with cars or gunshots. Although we are recording all reports of dead birds in DeKalb County, staff will only be picking up crows, blue jays and birds of prey (such as owls and hawks) that have been dead for less that 24 hours. Your information will be combined with reports from throughout Georgia to detect the presence of West Nile virus.

Should I report a dead bird?
YES! Please report all dead birds. The DeKalb County Board of Health is taking reports on all dead bird sightings in DeKalb County. The addresses of all dead birds are mapped and used to analyze the potential of West Nile virus activity.

What birds will be tested?
Please understand that we do not test every dead bird in order to get a good picture of WNV in our county. While the addresses of all dead birds are mapped and analyzed, only some birds will be collected to be tested for West Nile virus. Birds that may be candidates for testing include blue jays, crows and raptors (such as hawks, owls, eagles) that have been dead for less that 24 hours, do not have any bugs on them and show no signs of trauma. If the Board of Health has already picked up and tested many birds from your area, your reported bird may not be picked up. If the bird is not picked up within 24 hours, please dispose of it as instructed below. The DeKalb County Board of Health does not collect dead birds on weekends. However, we are tracking all birds found around the county whether or not they are tested. Your information will be mapped, analyzed and combined with reports from throughout Georgia to evaluate West Nile virus activity throughout the state.

What are signs of trauma on a bird?
See if there are any signs of trauma on the bird. Missing feathers, broken legs or wings, signs of blood or the head lying at an odd angle (especially if near a wall or window) are all signs of trauma. If there are any signs of trauma on the bird, then it is ineligible for testing. Birds with signs of trauma should be reported and properly disposed of.

What species of birds are being tested?
Try to determine if the bird is one of the species being tested. Only blue jays, crows and raptors (hawks, owls, eagles) are being tested. Crows are large and solid black including feathers, eyes, beak and legs. Blue jays are blue with a white belly. A raptor would be a hawk, falcon, eagle or owl, would generally be 12 inches or longer from tail to beak, and have a hooked bill and strong talons. Please report all dead birds. If the bird is not a blue jay, crow or raptor, you may indicate an unknown species, give a description of the bird or report the species if you happen to know it.

How do I dispose of a dead bird?
If the bird has been dead for 24 hours, shows signs of trauma, has bugs, is not a blue jay, crow or raptor (hawks, owls, eagles) or is not picked up within 24 hours, please report the dead bird and dispose of it properly.
You may dispose of the bird by double bagging it and placing it in your regular trash. You can also bury it three feet deep. Remember to wear gloves or use a shovel to handle dead birds or any other dead animal. Please, remember to report the dead bird. The DeKalb County Board of Health wants every dead bird to be reported.

How do I report a dead bird?
You may complete the form below or contact the Board of Health at 404-508-7871.
The DeKalb County Board of Health does not collect dead birds on weekends. These specimens are no longer accepted by the laboratory for testing, however, we are tracking all birds found around the county whether or not they are tested.

Please complete the form by clicking here to report a dead bird.