Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in Bird Flu, Dead Birds, wildlife | Posted on 09-12-2009
Q. What should I do if I find a dead bird?
If you’re aware of a disease outbreak or you are concerned about health issues, contact your local or county health department or the National Wildlife Health Center. Proceed in collecting or disposing of the dead bird as they direct you to. In many cases health departments will not be able to analyze a bird that has already started to decay, so you may be asked to double-bag it and put it in your freezer, or to take it to them immediately. If you do pick up the bird be sure to wear disposable gloves, and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.After any health and safety issues have been resolved, and especially if you know this bird was killed by a cat or in a collision with a window or automobile, or in some other way not associated with disease, you might turn your thoughts to collecting the bird for scientists at a university or museum. Start by contacting a wildlife professional that has a federal and state permit to collect birds or bird parts. (You may find such a person at a nearby university, museum, nature center, as well as some elementary and high schools.)
Remember the bird’s location. Do not pick up the bird without permission, because this is illegal. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 protects birds and bird parts (feathers, eggs, and nests) of all native American birds by forbidding anyone without a permit to own or handle birds or bird parts. Though at first glance the law may seem overly strict, it serves an important conservation purpose by allowing authorities to curtail activities that harm birds.
If you’re instructed to bring the bird in under the authority of someone else’s permit, remember to record your name and contact information, the date and location, the bird’s species (if known) and a description of the circumstances, including your best guess about the cause of the bird’s death. Use a pencil or permanent ink. If you’re instructed to freeze the bird until you can bring it to the facility, double-bag it in plastic, and put the paper with this information between the two layers.I hope this is helpful information should you, a family member or friend, come accross a dead bird. Common sense is also a plus when dealing with a situation such as this.
To learn more about birds in your neck of the woods and their behaviors and habitat, simply check out some of these great resources at: http://bit.ly/7h5ks2