- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2016

WATSEKA, Ill. (AP) - Health officials in eastern Illinois have put out an unusual request for the public to help collect dead birds.

The Iroquois County Public Health Department says dead birds have been important indicators of West Nile activity since the virus arrived in Illinois in 2001.

Terry Eimen is director of environmental health for the department. He says they’re looking for “perching birds” such as crows, blue jays, starlings, robins, cardinals and mockingbirds. Many species of sparrows, finches and wrens will also be accepted for testing.

The (Kankakee) Daily Journal reports (https://bit.ly/29Zd8R3 ) that the birds should be believed dead less than 24 hours and be undamaged by scavenging animals.

The dead birds should be double-bagged in plastic bags and dropped off at the department in Watseka.

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Information from: The Daily Journal, https://www.daily-journal.com

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