City Wildlife has recently seen a significant influx of young birds, mostly Common Grackles, European Starlings, and Blue Jays, with eye issues leading to blindness and neurological problems affecting the birds’ balance and coordination. Other regional agencies are reporting the same, as well as many dead fledglings.
City Wildlife and other agencies in surrounding states have submitted samples to appropriate pathology laboratories and are awaiting results of those tests. As the first and only Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for the District of Columbia, we take this matter very seriously and, in coordination with other governmental and wildlife rehabilitation centers, are making every effort to mount an effective response to this avian emergency.
City Wildlife (15 Oglethorpe Street, NW, Washington, DC 20011, 202-882-1000) is open to receive sick birds found in the District of Columbia every day between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. We can be reached at 202-882-1000. Alternatively and between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m., please call Humane Rescue Alliance at 202-723-5730, ext. 2.
Reporting dead birds on private property:
You should dispose of birds found on private property with appropriate precautions. Use gloves or other hand covering to avoid direct contact, place the dead bird in a plastic waste bag, then dispose of it in a garbage receptacle outside of the home. Be sure to wash hands thoroughly after any contact with affected birds. Dead birds in any area can be reported to the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.
Reporting dead birds on public property:
Please report deceased birds as above. Dead birds found in public spaces — such as streets, parks, sidewalks, and alleys — can be disposed of by the District of Columbia Department of Public Works. Call them at 311 (202-737-4404 outside the 202 area code) and selecting menu option 5 for “city services” to reach an operator. You may also report online by visiting 311.dc.gov.
For more information, see the statement released by the US Geological Survey.