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Dead Bird Surveillance Program


The West Nile virus (WNV) dead bird surveillance program (DBSP) is a key component of the California Mosquito-borne Virus Surveillance and Response Plan.

Why dead birds? 

Birds play a central role in the WNV transmission cycle. If an infected mosquito feeds on a bird and transmits WNV, the infected bird can then serve as a reservoir of WNV to other mosquitoes. Many bird species are susceptible to WNV and die as a result of infection; for example, American Crows and California Scrub-jays have a high mortality rate once infected. A positive dead bird is often the first indication that WNV is present in an area.

Call Center and Website 

Although CVMVCD is a partner in this endevor, the WNV and dead bird call center is staffed and operated by the California Department of Public Health. Please call the toll free number: 1-877-WNV-BIRD (1-877-968-2473 ) to report a dead bird. The call center is open five days a week during the WNV season (approximately mid-April to mid-October). Hours are 8 am t 4:30 pm, M-F, with Sundays added during peak season. The public can also report dead birds online: Online reports will receive an email response; many people will also be called if their dead bird is a potential candidate for WNV testing.

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