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Birds & Viruses

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West Nile & Eastern Equine Encephalitis

If you notice a dead bird and you are concerned, you need to call the Maine Bureau of Health at 1-800-697-5846. They will ask you some questions such as what type of bird it is, the date and time you first noticed it, and the condition of the carcass.

If the Bureau of Health asks you to bring the bird in to the ACO for testing, they will give you an identification number, and the state testing lab.  The ACO will not accept any bird that doesn’t’t have an identification number.  You may safely handle most dead birds by wearing disposable rubber gloves, and then placing the bird inside of two clear plastic bags, do not place the bird in a refrigerator, or cooler used for food storage.

Currently the only birds being tested for West Nile Virus are members of the Corvid family, which includes blue jays, crows, and ravens.