When birds die from the West Nile virus, it is a good indicator the virus is being spread by mosquitos and serves as an early warning sign that human infections may soon appear.
Individuals who find a dead crow, magpie, jay or raven on their property are advised to call the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment on the West Nile Virus Bird Hotline at 970-498-6792 to find out if it is appropriate for testing.
If it is suitable for testing, individuals are asked to place the bird in a plastic bag and to keep it cool. Avoid direct contact with the bird, by using gloves, a shovel, or a plastic bag turned inside out to when picking up the specimen. Instructions will be given on how to submit the bird. If the bird is not suitable for testing, the bird (still in the plastic bag) should be be placed in a tight fitting trash container for disposal.