Dead Bird Surveillance

In collaboration with the California Department of Public Health (DPH), we implement a dead bird collection program to enable virus detection in Sacramento and Yolo counties. Our staff is trained to safely collect and identify dead birds that are found by the public and reported to DPH. Dead bird samples are transported to the California Animal Health and Food Safety laboratory at the University of California, Davis campus where necropsies are performed on acceptable bird samples. All tissue samples are tested for West Nile virus at the University of California, Davis Vector-Borne Disease Research laboratory.

Wild Bird Surveillance

The purpose of this surveillance program is to monitor the relative encephalitis virus infection in avian reservoir hosts and to identify local enzootic virus transmission to help predict the threat of transmission to people. We started the wild bird encephalitis surveillance program in the spring of 1996. The team has samples over 130 wild bird species to test for infection with arboviruses. Birds are captured using mist nets, crow traps, and ground traps. Each captured bird is aged, sexed, weighed, measured, and banded, and a small blood sample is collected. After processing, each bird is released.


Did you know?
Only female mosquitoes bite. Female mosquitoes bite in search of a blood meal to produce eggs.