Mucosal application is the most common route of vaccination to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases like Newcastle disease virus (NDV). To gain more knowledge about distribution and uptake of a vaccine after mucosal vaccination, we studied the distribution pattern of antigens after different mucosal routes of administration. Chickens were intranasally (i.n.), intratracheally (i.t.) or intraocularly (i.o.) inoculated with fluorescent beads and presence of beads in nasal-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT), Harderian gland (HG), conjunctiva-associated lymphoid tissue (CALT), trachea, lungs, air sacs, oesophagus and blood was characterized. The distribution patterns differed significantly between the three inoculation routes. After i.t. inoculation, the beads were mainly retrieved from trachea, NALT and lung. I.n. inoculation resulted in beads found mainly in NALT but detectable in all organs sampled. Finally, after i.o. inoculation, the beads were detected in NALT, CALT, HG and trachea. The highest number of beads was retrieved after i.n. inoculation. Development of novel vaccines requires a comprehensive knowledge of the mucosal immune system in birds in order to target vaccines appropriately and to provide efficient adjuvants. The NALT is likely important for the induction of mucosal immune responses. We therefore studied the phenotype of antigen-presenting cells isolated from NALT after i.n. inoculation with uncoated beads or with NDV-coated beads. Both types of beads were efficiently taken up and low numbers of bead+ cells were detected in all organs sampled. Inoculation with NDV-coated beads resulted in a preferential uptake by NALT antigen-presenting cells as indicated by high percentages of KUL01+-, MHC II+ and CD40+ bead+ cells.