Biosecurity for Wild Birds
Hunters, bird watchers and other enthusiasts can help defend the health and safety of the nation’s poultry by watching for signs of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in wild birds. These include the unexplained die-offs of birds or birds showing signs of being sick. Review the signs of HPAI before your next trip.
Do not pick up deceased or obviously sick birds. Contact your state, tribal, or federal natural resources agency if you find sick or dead birds.
Follow these guidelines to help prevent the spread of disease:
- Wear rubber gloves when cleaning bird feeders.
- Wash hands with soap and water immediately after cleaning feeders.
- Do not eat, drink, or smoke while cleaning bird feeders.
Follow basic precautions when handling wild birds, including:
- Do not handle or consume game animals that are obviously sick or found dead.
- Do not eat, drink, or smoke while cleaning game.
- Wear rubber gloves when cleaning game.
- Wash hands with soap and water immediately after handling game. If water is not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, but follow up with soap and water as soon as it is available.
- Wash tools and working surfaces with soap and water and then disinfect.
- Keep uncooked game in a separate container, away from cooked or ready-to-eat foods.
- Cook game meat thoroughly; poultry should reach an internal temperature of 165 degree Fahrenheit to kill disease organisms and parasites.
- To report unusual signs in birds you have seen in the wild, call 1-866-4-USDA-WS.
Visit the Avian Illness
section to learn more about how you can help prevent the spread of disease.
Commercial Poultry | Backyard/Exhibition | Wild Birds | Pet Birds
Defend the Flock | Biosecurity | Outbreak/Illness | Resource Center