Reporting Dead Birds in San Bernardino County
This morning we found a very fresh, but very dead owl in the back yard. We've had a nest of very noisy owls in the neighborhood for about two years and they even took up residence in our chimney for a while. It was sad to see such a beautiful bird like this but I was more concerned about the possibility of West Nile Virus. We had a particularly bad outbreak of dead birds and West Nile Virus in San Bernardino County about 10 years ago but honestly I have not thought much about it since then.
To report the dead owl I went to the San Bernardino County Vector Control website and was redirected to the "Report dead birds and squirrels" section of the westnile.ca.gov website
After filling out and submitting the online "dead bird report" I recieved an automatic email to confirm the report and literally within 2 minutes, while I was still reading the email I also got a call from the health department, working with the WestNile.ca.gov website. She informed me that the San Bernardino County Vector Control dead bird collection was shut down from November through February and that I should just double-bag and dispose of the Owl. She said they would add the owl to their dead bird mapping database and thanked me for reporting it.
So if you find a dead bird between November and February, please report it on the westnile.ca.gov dead bird and squirrels page and then dispose of it.
Official dead bird handling instructions:
If you have not been contacted within 24 hours of your report, you may safely dispose of the dead bird in your trash. There is no evidence that West Nile virus can be acquired by handling dead birds, but it is best not to handle the dead bird with your bare hands. Use gloves, a shovel, or a plastic bag to place the bird in a trash bag for disposal. Please DO NOT freeze dead birds.