Many West Nile (WN) virus isolates associated with significant outbreaks possess a glycosylation site on the envelope (E) protein. E-protein glycosylated variants of New York (NY) strains of WN virus are more neuroinvasive in mice than the non-glycosylated variants. To determine how E protein glycosylation affects the interactions between WN virus and avian hosts, we inoculated young chicks with NY strains of WN virus containing either glycosylated or non-glycosylated variants of the E protein. The glycosylated variants were more virulent and had higher viremic levels than the non-glycosylated variants. The glycosylation status of the variant did not affect viral multiplication and dissemination in mosquitoes in vivo. Glycosylated variants showed more heat-stable propagation than non-glycosylated variants in mammalian (BHK) and avian (QT6) cells but not in mosquito (C6/36) cells. Thus, E-protein glycosylation may be a requirement for efficient transmission of WN virus from avian hosts to mosquito vectors.