Report a Dead or Sick Bird to TWRA
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is tracking the reports of sick and dead birds throughout the state. This information is critical to help us track bird diseases and identify samples to be collected and submitted to a laboratory for testing.
If you have seen a dead bird or a sick bird that appears to exhibit abnormal neurological symptoms, crusty or swollen eyes, or unusual growths please report the bird. Community-based reporting is incredibly beneficial in helping us with the early detection of disease and bird health monitoring. Please fill out all fields (through the link below) including contact information, location, species, list of symptoms, and, if possible, a photo of the bird.
The purpose of these reports is to help TWRA gauge disease and health issues that might affect Tennessee bird populations. All reports are reviewed by a biologist to evaluate the need to collect the sick or dead birds and send them into a laboratory for further testing. If the reviewing TWRA biologist determines further testing is warranted and the contact information was included in the report, the biologist may contact the person who reported the sick or dead bird for more information. Often, reports will not necessitate an onsite visit by TWRA and the data will mainly be used for disease tracking. If you report a dead bird and are not contacted within 2 days of the report, please discard the bird as recommended below to prevent further spread of the disease.
TWRA recommendations for sick or dead birds at feeders:
- Cease feeding birds for a few weeks and cover birdbaths.
- Clean up any excess feed that has spilled or was placed onto the ground.
- Regularly clean feeders and birdbaths with a 10 percent bleach solution (one-part bleach mixed with nine parts water), rinse with water and allow to air dry.
- Avoid handling birds unless necessary. If you do handle them wear disposable gloves. If picking up a dead bird, place an inverted plastic bag over your hand to avoid direct contact with the bird.
- At your discretion, double bag and freeze the dead bird (please dispose of the dead bird if not contacted by TWRA within 2 business days) or discard the bird with household trash. If you decide not to keep the dead bird, please consider still submitting a report to TWRA.
- Keep pets (including pet birds) away from sick or dead wild birds as a standard precaution.
- If you find recently deceased birds exhibiting crustiness or bulging eyes and/or neurological issues, please use your discretion to contact the TWRA at https://arcg.is/uGTGT0.
In the event you ever find an injured or orphaned animal out in your yard or in the wild, contact a permitted Wildlife Rehabilitator prior to picking the animal up. List of Rehabilitators in TN
For dead non-wildlife please contact the Tennessee Department of Agriculture C. E. Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Lab. Animal Health Diagnostic Lab (tn.gov)