Major distinctive features of avian lungs are the absence of draining lymph nodes and alveoli and alveolar macrophages (MPhs). However, a large network of MPhs and dendritic cells (DCs) is present in the mucosa of the larger airways and in the linings of the parabronchi. For the modulation of respiratory tract immune responses, for example, by vaccination, a better understanding of Ag uptake in the chicken respiratory tract is needed. In this study, we provide detailed characterization of APCs in chicken lungs, including their functional in vivo activities as measured by the uptake of fluorescently labeled 1-mm beads that are coated with either LPS or inactivated avian influenza A virus (IAV) mimicking the uptake of bacterial or viral Ag. We identified different subsets of MPhs and DCs in chicken lungs, based on the expression of CD11, activation markers, and DEC205. In vivo uptake of LPS- and IAV-beads resulted in an increased percentage MHC class II + (MHC II + ) cells and in the upregulation of CD40. The uptake of LPS-beads resulted in the upregulation of CD80 and MHC II on the cell surface, suggesting either uptake of LPS- and IAV-beads by different subsets of phagocytic cells or LPS-mediated differential activation. Differences in phagosomal acidification indicated that in chicken lungs the MHC II + and CD80 + bead + cell population includes DCs and that a large proportion of beads was taken up by MPhs. LPS-bead + cells were present in BALT, suggesting local induction of immune responses. Collectively, we characterized the uptake of Ags by phagocytes in the respiratory tract of chickens.