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Avian Influenza

Rescue Hotline: 503-338-0331

Please still call us with all wildlife emergencies, so we can make sure all animals we are able to admit gets the help they need!

2022 HPAI Outbreak

Due to an outbreak of a highly contagious and deadly strain of avian flu, the Wildlife Center of the North Coast (WCNC) per guidance from Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) has made some necessary changes to our policies. We are currently unable to accept any waterfowl and have restrictions on certain species of raptors, scavengers, shorebirds, and seabirds.

We are currently unable to accept patients outside of our normal operating hours and are asking the public to please not bring us any wildlife without first speaking with one of our staff members.

About the Outbreak

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is a disease naturally occurring in wild bird populations. It has a high mortality rate among chickens, turkeys, backyard poultry.

Wild birds that typically carry the virus include waterbirds, shorebirds, and dabbling ducks, the latter of which often remain asymptomatic acting as hosts for the virus. The disease also infects birds that prey upon or consume sick or dead waterfowl.

In Oregon, the wild birds species currently most at risk are waterfowl, shorebirds, eagles, and scavengers (like crows, gulls, and vultures).

WCNC's Response

As WCNC primarily admits avian patients in the species of concern (waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors that predate waterfowl), this poses a significant risk to our ability to care for patients and educational ambassador birds.

We have adopted temporary HPAI protocols to minimize the risk to our captive residents while remaining open to limited admissions as instructed by ODFW.

These protocols will be changed once the HPAI outbreak has subsided and state guidance from ODFW indicates they are no longer necessary.

Clinical Signs of Infection

Clinical signs of avian influenza in wild birds include:

  • Sudden death without clinical signs
  • Lack of energy and appetite
  • Swelling of head, eyelids, and hocks
  • Nasal discharge, coughing, and sneezing
  • Incoordination (neurological symptoms)
  • Diarrhea

Temporary Intake Restrictions

Unfortunately, WCNC’s facilities are not equipped to treat active or suspected cases (which have a generally poor prognosis), so the rehab clinic must limit intakes to protect other patients and our education ambassadors.

We are currently unable to accept any waterfowl which are known to be asymptomatic carriers of the virus. We also cannot accept raptors and scavengers known to consume waterfowl, and certain species of shorebirds and seabirds that are most at risk to the virus.

We are able to accept some at risk species as long as they are not showing symptoms of infection, and we will be screening these patients outside in our temporary screening tent.

This policy is subject to change upon guidance from the state. We encourage the public to still call us with all wildlife emergencies.

HPAI Resources

The state is asking that if you see sick or dead wild birds, to not collect or handle them but report the incident directly to ODFW at 866-968-2600 or ODFW staff will be conducting surveillance and collecting/testing sick and dead wild birds to monitor for the presence of the disease.

Please call our wildlife hotline at 503-338-0331 if you have questions about wildlife or HPAI.

US Outbreak Info & Updates

For current information about Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) detections throughout the United States.

Oregon HPAI Updates

For announcements on avian influenza in Oregon.

Poultry Producers

Anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service Defend the Flock Resouce Center has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit.

Oregon Department of Agriculture

Owners of domesticated backyard birds such as poultry can find tips on protecting their flocks on ODA’s website. If you have poultry that appears sick or has died of respiratory or neurological disease call 503-986-4711 (Alt Phone: 1-800-347-7028).


Turkey hunting season is currently open in Oregon and it is possible for turkeys to become infected with avian flu. Waterfowl hunting seasons begin in fall and run through January. The risk of the disease spreading to a hunter is low but hunters should always wear gloves, thoroughly sanitize equipment that comes into contact with wild birds, cook birds to an internal temperature of 165 degrees and never consume a bird that appears sick or is found dead.

Backyard Bird Feeders

This strain of avian flu is not known to be a threat to songbirds, but keep your bird feeders clean and take them down if you see sick or dead birds near your feeder or in your neighborhood. Visit ODFW’s wildlife disease page on avian flu for tips on keeping your feeders clean & free of bacteria, and for reporting bird deaths.

Thank you for your Support

We are deeply saddened by this outbreak, and the necessary changes we have had to make limiting our patient intakes. If you would like to help with biosecurity measures necessary to continue serving Category 2 species, we have created an Amazon wishlist of needed items.