United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services Program requests help from hunters to sample ducks for Avian Influenza (AI)
Duck hunters, please assist the USDA in their avian disease monitoring Program. Note that this is a routine practice and no cause for alarm. They are sampling only dabbling ducks at this time, specifically mallards, black ducks, wood ducks, pintail, teal, gadwall, shoveler, and widgeon.
Sampling only requires swabbing the duck’s vent. Thus, whole or breasted birds can be sampled. If you are willing and able to assist, please contact Ryan Bevilacqua: (413) 687-2209, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ryan can meet you at your house or other convenient spot to sample your birds. In the past, the previous Wildlife Disease biologist would oftentimes have the hunters leave birds in coolers outside their house, in the bed of their trucks at their work, or meet the hunters at the launch after their hunt.
In addition to CT, USDA is also sampling in the CT River Valley in MA. In both states, they have been visiting parks where people frequently feed waterfowl to catch and sample those birds. If you know of any specific areas where this occurs, that information is very valuable to USDA as well!