Dead Bird Reporting, Collection & Testing

Residents play an important role in the monitoring of West Nile Virus in the reporting of dead birds. It is extremely important to report all dead birds. Dead birds that may be collected for testing include crows, blue jays, grackles, starlings, sparrows, finches, robins, cardinals, flycatchers, swallows, catbirds, mockingbirds, warblers and wrens (see photos of birds below). Dead birds that meet certain criteria may be collected by the Palatine Health Division and submitted for West Nile testing.

If a dead bird is found and meets the following criteria, please contact the Environmental Health Division at 847-359-9090.

  • Birds cannot be dead for longer than 24 hours
  • No obvious signs of attack on sample (e.g. road kill)
  • Eyes should not be deflated
  • No odor should be present
  • No sign of decay

Property Disposing of Dead Birds

Any dead bird that is not collected for testing should be properly disposed of. Use gloves of rubber or latex (i.e., not cloth) or a plastic bag over your hands - or use a shovel, tongs or other instrument to pick up the bird and place it in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and then seal it inside a second plastic bag. Put the double-bagged bird with trash that will be picked up. Wash your hands with soap immediately after disposing of the bird.

Please report the any dead birds to the Palatine Health Division at 847-359-9090.