Puffin coming into land Skomer Wales John Archer-Thompson

Beaches and bird flu

1 minute read

A bird flu (avian influenza) outbreak is affecting seabirds and other birds in the UK right now. If you’re heading to the beach this summer and see a sick or dead bird, here’s what to do.

Although bird flu is unlikely to be passed to humans, it’s highly transmissible between birds and can be deadly to them and other wildlife and animals. If you're visiting a public beach and see a dead bird, or one that looks as though it may be infected, please don’t touch it. Instead, there are several things you can do:

How to spot bird flu

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is the more serious type of bird flu and is often fatal in birds. Some of the main symptoms that will show in an infected bird include:

  • swollen head
  • closed and excessively watery eyes
  • incoordination and loss of balance
  • head and body tremoring
  • drooping of the wings and/or dragging of legs
  • several birds affected in the same space

For a full list of symptoms, visit the Government webpage on avian influenza.