Patterns of mortality and inhibition of brain and plasma ChE in birds treated with ChE inhibitors were studied in an attempt to determine the validity of using ChE activity as a monitoring and diagnostic technique. Analysis of brain ChE activity proved to be reliable for diagnosing and monitoring effects of selected ChE inhibitors in birds. Brain ChE inhibition exceeding 20% indicated exposure, and inhibition greater than 50% was sufficient for diagnosing cause of death. Individuals that died from dietary exposure to parathion or carbofuran had brain ChE activities below 55% of normal; although individuals could survive with brain ChE activity lower than 50%. Problems associated with collection, storage, and analysis of tissues for ChE activity are discussed.