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Does Birds Have Rabies: Debunking the Myth

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Does Birds Have Rabies? Birds do not get rabies. Rabies only affects mammals.

While rabies is a serious and potentially deadly virus, it is not something that bird lovers need to worry about. Since birds are not mammals, they cannot contract rabies. However, it is still important to take steps to protect yourself and your birds from other diseases and illnesses that can affect them.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the common diseases that birds can get, as well as some tips for keeping your feathered friends healthy and happy. From avian influenza to psittacosis, there are a variety of illnesses that birds can be susceptible to. We’ll cover signs and symptoms, treatment options, and best practices for preventing the spread of disease in your flock. Whether you’re a seasoned bird owner or just starting out, this guide will help you keep your birds healthy and safe.

Mythbusting: Do Birds Really Have Rabies?

There is a common myth that birds carry rabies, but that is not entirely true. The myth may have originated from the fact that birds can contract and transmit other diseases such as avian influenza. Rabies is a viral disease that affects mammals and spreads through the saliva of infected animals.

Although it is rare, birds can contract rabies, but they do not usually transmit it to humans or other animals. According to the centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only a few cases of rabies in birds have been reported in the United States.

Therefore, it is unlikely that you will contract rabies from a bird unless you come into contact with their infected saliva or tissues.

Understanding The Risk Of Rabies In Birds

Rabies is a viral infection that affects the nervous system, and it can be transmitted through the saliva of infected animals. While it’s commonly associated with dogs, skunks, and foxes, it is possible for birds to carry and transmit rabies.

In fact, certain species of birds such as raptors, bats, and corvids are more susceptible to the virus. The transmission of rabies among animals occurs when an infected animal bites another animal or a human, allowing the virus to enter the bloodstream.

It’s important to understand the risk of rabies in birds and take necessary precautions to avoid exposure. If bitten by a bird, seek medical attention immediately and report the incident to animal control or public health officials.

The Truth Behind Birds And Rabies

Birds are not commonly infected with rabies, due to unique physiological characteristics. They have a high body temperature that makes it difficult for the virus to survive. Birds are also naturally agitated and can quickly defend themselves against potential rabies carriers.

The incidence rates of rabies in birds are significantly lower than in other animals, making it rare for birds to transmit the virus to humans. While birds can contract and transmit other diseases, rabies is not one of them. So, if you come across a bird in your backyard, you can rest assured knowing that it is highly unlikely to have rabies.

It’s essential to still practice safe distancing from wildlife, including birds, to reduce the risk of diseases transmission.

The Risks Of Mishandling Birds

Birds can potentially carry infections and diseases, making it important to use precautions when handling them. Direct contact with bare skin can lead to exposure to bird saliva or blood, which may contain harmful pathogens. As such, it’s important to always wear gloves to protect the hands.

If one were to be exposed, it’s crucial to quickly seek medical attention. Proper disposal of bird carcasses and cleaning of cages is also important in preventing potential diseases. Overall, by practising safe handling techniques and seeking prompt medical care, we can mitigate the risks associated with handling birds.

Frequently Asked Questions On Does Birds Have Rabies

Can Birds Carry Rabies?

No, birds cannot carry rabies because they have a different body temperature and immunological response than mammals, which are the only known carriers of rabies.

How Do Birds Transmit Rabies?

Birds do not transmit rabies, as they do not carry the virus that causes this disease. Only mammals, such as dogs, bats, and raccoons can carry and transmit rabies.

What Are The Symptoms Of Rabies In Birds?

Birds do not show any symptoms of rabies because they cannot contract the disease. It is important to note that any unusual behavior in birds, such as aggression or paralysis, should be reported to a wildlife rehabilitation center.

Can You Get Rabies From A Bird Bite?

No, you cannot get rabies from a bird bite as birds do not carry the rabies virus. However, it is important to clean and disinfect the bite to prevent any potential infections.

What Should I Do If I Find A Sick Or Injured Bird?

If you find a sick or injured bird, do not touch it with bare hands. Instead, contact a local wildlife rehabilitator or animal control to safely remove and care for the bird.


From everything we’ve explored about whether birds have rabies, the answer is clear: birds typically do not carry rabies. While it is technically possible for a bird to contract and transmit rabies, the likelihood of this happening is extremely low.

This is due to the fact that birds have a body temperature that is too high to host the virus, as well as other biological factors. However, it’s important to remember that not all birds are created equal. While most birds do not carry the rabies virus, certain species may carry other harmful diseases or parasites.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to approach wildlife with caution and avoid contact whenever possible. Always remember to take proper precautions if you spot a sick or injured bird, such as contacting a wildlife rehabilitation center or animal control.

By being aware and informed, we can help protect both ourselves and the wildlife we share our world with.

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Angela K. Stone

Angela K. Stone, a devoted bird lover, has worked with the Bird Welfare Organization for years.

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