Fowlpox virus (FPV) recombinants expressing influenza virus H5 haemagglutinin (HA), nucleoprotein (NP) or co-expressing both of these antigens were tested for vaccine efficacy in chickens. Immunization with the recombinant FPV-HA was highly efficacious but provided no cross protection between subtypes. Bursectomy established that immunity against the H5 subtype was antibody-mediated despite the presence of very low levels of antibody in the vaccinated birds. Immunization with the recombinant FPV expressing the cross-reactive NP antigen did not provide protective immunity despite hyperimmunization and provided no benefit above HA expressed alone. The results suggest that the kinetics of viral replication outpaces immunity induced by NP.