HPAI Information

There have been reported cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the Carolinas since mid January 2022. In an abundance of caution, and to protect current patients and resident birds on the Trail, the Raptor Center is not accepting new patients at this time.

If you find an injured bird, DO NOT TOUCH the bird, but report it to the NC Wildlife Helpline at 866-318-2401 M-F 8a-5p, or email HWI@ncwildlife.org, or call the USDA at 866-536-7593.

For more information on HPAI, visit the USDA website here.

Media inquires, please contact Kate Shaner at kshaner@carolinaraptorcenter.org.

Fast Facts about HPAI:

  • This strain of HPAI is low risk to people, but can be dangerous to other birds, including poultry.
  • If you have backyard chickens, please consult this flier from the USDA.
  • Some birds can be carriers and show no sign of sickness.
  • The disease is transmitted through fecal material or oral discharges.
  • You should wear rubber gloves when handling birds or cleaning bird feeders and wash your hands immediately after.
  • If you have a captive bird who is sick or dying report it to your veterinarian immediately.
  • If you see a bird displaying neurological impairment symptoms, like tilting its head, moving “wonky”, or flying/swimming in circles report it to the NC Wildlife Helpline noted above.

Hunters, please take additional precautions including:

  • Do not harvest or handle wild birds that are obviously sick or found dead.
  • Wear rubber gloves when handling birds, cleaning game or cleaning bird feeders.
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke while cleaning game.
  • Dress your game birds in the field whenever possible. If you must dress your birds at home, clean them in an area separate from your poultry and pet birds.
  • Double bag the inedible parts of the bird and feathers. Tie the inner bag and include your rubber gloves and leave them in the outer bag before tying it closed.
  • Wash hands with soap and water immediately after handling game or cleaning bird feeders. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol wipes.
  • Wash all tools and work surfaces with soap and water. Then, disinfect them.
  • Avoid cross-contamination. Keep uncooked game in a separate container, away from cooked or ready-to-eat foods.
  • Cook game meat thoroughly; poultry should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill disease organisms and parasites.

All new cases of HPAI are listed on the USDA’s website here:

The bird care team at the Raptor Center is moving fast and working with peer organizations to put in place protective protocols for our current patients and resident birds. We greatly appreciate the public’s help, care, and understanding as we safely navigate this situation.