Avian influenza outbreak among waterfowl around Skagit Bay

flock of snow geese

Media contact: communications@dfw.wa.gov

WDFW has retrieved more than 700 deceased birds of several species—primarily juvenile snow geese—from Skagit Bay and Port Susan. Samples have been taken from these birds for testing for avian influenza (also known as bird flu), with H5N1 strain Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) suspected.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) biologists recently responded to reports of sick or dead waterfowl in western Skagit County on and around Skagit Bay, as well as in northwestern Snohomish County and on Camano Island and Port Susan in Island County.

WDFW asks members of the public who find sick or dead birds to report them immediately using this online form and not touch them. 

Avoid all contact with sick and dead birds. DO NOT attempt to move sick birds to a veterinarian or rehabilitation center, or to your home, as this can spread the disease. If a dead bird must be moved, it is best to wear disposable gloves while handling it and to double bag and dispose of the carcass in the garbage where pets and scavengers can’t reach it.

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