ABSTRACT Psittacine birds have been identified as reservoirs of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli, a subset of pathogens associated with mortality of children in tropical countries. The role of other orders of birds as source of infection is unclear. The aim of this study was to perform the molecular diagnosis of infection with diarrheagenic E. coli in 10 different orders of captive wild birds in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Fecal samples were analyzed from 516 birds belonging to 10 orders: Accipitriformes, Anseriformes, Columbiformes, Falconiformes, Galliformes, Passeriformes, Pelecaniformes, Piciformes, Psittaciformes and Strigiformes. After isolation, 401 E. coli strains were subjected to multiplex PCR system with amplification of genes eae and bfp (EPEC), stx1 and stx2 for STEC. The results of these tests revealed 23/401 (5.74%) positive strains for eae gene, 16/401 positive strains for the bfp gene (3.99%) and 3/401 positive for stx2 gene (0.75%) distributed among the orders of Psittaciformes, Strigiformes and Columbiformes. None of strains were positive for stx1 gene. These data reveal the infection by STEC, typical and atypical EPEC in captive birds. The frequency of these pathotypes is low and restricted to few orders, but the data suggest the potential public health risk that these birds represent as reservoirs of diarrheagenic E. coli.