Dead Bird Surveillance
Criteria for testing include:
The bird is dead, but the carcass is in good condition. Birds should be dead no more than about 48 hours prior to collection, and should not show signs of advanced decomposition (strong odor, dried or deflated eyes, maggots present, or bloated with decomposition gases).
The bird shows no sign it died of causes other than disease. Birds should have no obvious cause of death. Birds with obvious injuries such as wounds or missing parts, should not be submitted for testing. Likewise, crushed carcasses and birds found along roadways are not acceptable.
The bird must be one that is acceptable for testing. Some acceptable species are crows, blue jays, grackles, starlings, robins, cardinals, sparrows, finches, swallows mockingbirds, and wrens. Birds that will not be accepted include pigeons, ducks, geese, chickens, other large birds, and endangered species. Images of birds and identification information are available at http://www.illinoisraptorcenter.org/birdguide.html