NOTE: As of summer 2022, Martha Jordan has this advice regarding dead birds:
The sad fact is that avian influenza is here and seems to be just about everywhere. Wildlife rehabilitators are reporting this in the birds they are taking in from people — song birds, waterfowl, waterbirds, raptors, owls,….
Testing is being done.
DO NOT TOUCH or attempt to retrieve dead birds you find. If in your yard, put on gloves, scoop into a baggie and put it in the garbage. Do not bury it, because if another animal digs it up, that can spread if the bird died of Avian Influenza. Do not put them in your freezer or transport them unless you are sure how they died. Again, this is a highly transmissible disease.
Here is where WDFW recommends you can report dead birds you find:
Report online using this link:
Alternatively, people can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call
Thank you for reporting.
Have You Seen a Dead, Sick or Injured Swan?
To report a dead, sick, or injured swan, call (360) 466-4345, ext. 266. You can also check out this 2017 WDFW press release about reporting dead, injured or sick swans.
Have You Found a Dead Bird?
There are two good steps you can take. One is to report the dead bird; the second is to donate the bird to an ornithology collection. Here’s how to do both.
A nationwide partnership, including the Seattle Audubon Society, is trying to gather data on dead birds and the causes of their deaths. Report a dead bird at the dbird website: https://dbird.org
As for donating the dead bird, you can deliver it to either the Burke Museum on the University of Washington campus in Seattle or to the Slater Museum at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. It is illegal to keep or transport a bird for your own use.
The Slater Museum welcomes contributions and also provides information online about packaging and contributing a dead bird:
Go to the Slater Museum specimen donations website.
The Burke welcomes contributions. For more information and to contact them:
Go to the Burke Museum ornithology collections website.
Have You Found an Injured or Sick Bird?
First, be sure the bird is actually injured or sick or that rescue is required. Sometimes birds that appear injured or sick are just stunned from striking a window and will fly off after resting. Sometimes young birds will be rescued by their parents. Do some Internet searching for further advice.
Contact one of these organizations if you are sure the bird requires rescuing:
Sarvey Wildlife Care Center in Arlington, WA
PAWS Wildlife Center in Lynnwood, WA