More than 200 species of birds, including songbirds, hawks, owls,
eagles, waterfowl, woodpeckers and hummingbirds, have tested positive for West Nile virus in the United States. At least
77 of those species are found in Washington. Corvids (ravens, crows, jays, magpies, etc.) are the group most commonly affected by the virus.
The Thurston County Health Department is currently seeking information from citizens about the location,
species and numbers of dead birds in Thurston County. We are using that information as part of our overall West Nile Virus response plan.
West Nile virus infects certain wild birds. Of those
infected, crows, jays, ravens, magpies, and hawks tend
to become sick and die. Increasing numbers of dead birds
may be an indication of West Nile virus in your
From May through October, you can
help by reporting dead crows,
jays, ravens, magpies, and hawks online through the
WA Dept of Health
Online Dead Bird Reporting Form. If you do
not have internet access, you may report the dead bird
by calling our message line at 360-867-2666.
reporting let us know the location where the bird was found, the species of the bird, and the number of birds observed.
Also leave your name and a telephone number if we need to obtain additional information from you. In some cases, we may want to test a dead bird.
ravens, or blue jays may be tested, if we collect the birds within 48 hours and they are intact (not scavenged). If the
carcass has an off odor, is soft and mushy, has skin discoloration, feathers or skin that easily rubs off, or has
maggots present, it is too decomposed for testing. For additional pictures and descriptions, see
Wild Birds That Typically Host The WNV, USGA National Wildlife Center.
not handle a dead bird with bare hands. Use a shovel or
wear gloves to double bag it in plastic bags. If the
bird you find is not appropriate for testing, you may
dispose of it in your garbage. If you have any
additional questions, call Environmental Health at