Birds being tested for West Nile virus
The Mercer County Health Department will be submitting dead birds to the University of Illinois Veterinary Diagnostic Lab for West Nile virus testing.
In addition to crows and blue jays, the state will be accepting grackles, sparrows, finches, robins, cardinals, flycatchers, swallows, catbirds, mockingbirds, warblers, and wrens. The state lab will also test small or medium size hawks and owls.
If you see a dead bird that you believe is one of the species listed, please contact the health department at (309) 582-3761. Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Illinois Departrnent of Public Health's website at www.idph.state.il.us./envhealth/wnv.htm.