Guidance

Report dead wild birds

When to report dead wild birds and how to report them.

Applies to England, Scotland and Wales

You should use this service to report dead wild birds if you find:

  • 1 or more dead birds of prey (such as an owl, hawk or buzzard)
  • 3 or more dead birds that include at least 1 gull, swan, goose or duck
  • 5 or more dead wild birds of any species

You can use this service to report other types or numbers of dead wild birds.

Do not touch dead wild birds

Report dead wild birds

Before you start

You’ll be asked:

  • where you found the dead wild birds
  • what type of dead birds you found
  • how many dead birds you found
  • your name
  • your telephone number, so we can phone you for more information about the location of the dead birds if we need to
  • your email address, so we can send you the results if the birds are tested for bird flu

Find out how your personal information is used when you report dead wild birds.

If you want to submit a report without providing contact details, phone Defra on 03459 33 55 77.

You must be 18 or over to use this service to report dead wild birds.

What happens after you report dead wild birds

When you report dead wild birds they may be collected and tested for bird flu or other cause of death. This helps to explain if diseases are present and in which types of birds.

The dead birds will be collected within 4 days if they’re needed for testing.

Not all dead wild birds will be collected. For example, they will not be collected if:

  • dead wild birds in the same area have been collected recently for testing
  • the dead bird is in a large body of water and the collectors cannot reach it from land

Find out how to:

Report sick or injured wild birds

You can report sick or injured wild birds to the:

  • RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 if you’re in England or Wales
  • SSPCA on 03000 999 999 if you’re in Scotland

They may be able to help. This may include euthanasia and disposing of the bird if appropriate.

Do not report sick or injured wild birds to Defra or the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

Do not touch visibly sick wild birds

Report poisoned birds

Phone the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme on 0800 321 600 if you find wild birds you think have been poisoned.

Report bird flu in poultry or other captive birds

How to report bird flu in poultry or other captive birds.

Report other dead or injured animals

Report a dead or injured animal.

Published 13 December 2022