Reporting dead wild birds

Do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find. You should call the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77) if you find:

  • one or more dead bird of prey or owl
  • 3 or more dead gulls or wild waterfowl (swans,geese and ducks)
  • 5 or more dead birds of any species

Defra will then collect some of these birds and test them. Calls to the Defra helpline about birds are triaged and not all birds will be collected.

Wild birds are susceptible to a range of diseases and injuries and not all dead birds will have been infected with avian influenza.

If the birds is/are on private land and Defra do not need to collect for testing, then double bag and place in your regular waste bin.

If the bird is on public land, complete a report a dead animal form or contact Customer Services.

More information regarding the disposal of dead birds is available on the GOV.uk website.