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Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)

Note: The risk of avian influenza to humans is low. Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website to read more.

Thank you so much for caring about wildlife. Due to the current risk and prevalence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in Wisconsin, our bird admission process has changed to reduce the spread of this disease as much as possible. Please call 414-431-6204 first before coming to WHS with an animal of any species. It is of vital importance that you do not bring in an animal to the wildlife hospital until our team has talked with you directly and has instructed you how to safely do so.

Outside of our open hours: We are an appointment-based wildlife hospital. If you are here with a bird outside of our open hours, we are unable to admit that patient. Keep the bird in a well ventilated but securely closed container like a carboard box with air holes. Keep the box in a dark, quiet, warm place away from pets and human interaction such as a garage or shed. If the bird is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed below or fits any of the below categories, contact the DNR. If the bird does not fit the HPAI criteria below, please call us at 414-431-6204 and leave a voice message detailing your situation. A staff member will return your call as soon as they are able during open hours.

If you suspect that a bird you encountered may be a high-risk species (listed below) or may have HPAI, please call the DNR Wildlife Response Hotline at 608-267-0866. This number may be slower to respond on the weekends. If you have not received a call back from that number and still need assistance, please CLICK HERE to find contact information for a DNR warden who may be able to help.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources considers the following birds to be high-risk species:

  • Waterfowl (ducks, geese, swans)
  • Waterbirds (loons, grebes, coots, pelicans, shorebirds, or wading birds like egrets, herons, cranes)
  • Birds of prey (owls, hawks, falcons, etc.- especially bald eagles)
  • Avian scavengers (crows, ravens, gulls, vultures)

Symptoms in birds: Neurological signs in birds may include swimming or walking in circles, moving the head in a “jerky” motion, seizing, twitching, lethargy, and holding the neck and head in an unusual position. Unfortunately, a symptom can also be sudden death. Some high-risk species, like ducks and geese, may not show any symptoms.

Baby birds: If you have a baby bird that you suspect is orphaned, please CLICK HERE to learn how to reunite the baby with its parents or how to keep it safe until you are able to contact us.