Why do we keep finding dead birds in the yard? :-(

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sarahkay2007's picture
Why do we keep finding dead birds in the yard? :-(

Hi every-one,

So I live in the S/E suburbs of Melbourne and in the last 6 months we have found numerous dead birds in our back yard. It is distressing and we are unsure of the cause, they are always found near our large gum tree and we do have a cat but she is very old and has never been a hunter, plus she is mostly an indoor cat. It is just so strange and I was wondering if anyone knows what could be causing this? Is this happening to any-one else? Tonight we noticed another 4 all dead in close proximity and they don't appear to have any injuries and look like they would have been rather healthy....I just can't work it out. Being an animal activist and vegetarian as well, it is awful to keep finding them, could it be another neighbours cat or some wild life killing them? Could the birds be killing eachother? The breeds we find look like common black and brown, some are magpies and some are common myna looking etc....is there a distingishment with these breeds? please get back to me asap

Regards animal lover in distress Sarah

Araminta's picture

Hi Sarah, have a look what Karen said on Tuesday. It does sound very much like poisoning. Has anyone in your area done some weed spraying? Like the council along the side of the road? A neighbour might have put ratsack out? I just read that you live in the S/E of Melbourne. I would ring Healesville Sanctuary, talk to the vets there, and ask them about the best way to approach the problem. You also might want to keep some birds , so they can be tested for poisoning.

As for any cat, even an old cat,they all hunt, and puncture wounds inflicted by a cat's teeth are very hard to see on a bird. Why don't you keep her inside and see if the birds stop dying? Cats are perfectly happy inside, my daughter takes in rescue cats, and none of them ever go outside.

Birds Poisoned by Karen » Tue, 15/01/2013 - 09:


Holly's picture

Hi Sarah

It does sound very much like poisoning if there is no obvious injury signs. I would put a report in to your local councils and also, if you don't find it too gruesome, it would be useful to collect the dead birds in plastic bags and pop them in the freezer (away from the roast!). If the council investigate they may like to have samples taken from them.

If you would like - take photos and email them to me: birdsinbackyards@birdlife.org.au and I will take a look and ID them for you.




Karen's picture

I do hope you find out what is happening.  It is very distressing to find birds dying frequently.  The ones I found were most likely killed by household poisons, e.g. weed killer, rat poison, insecticides, etc. according to the vet I took one of the birds to.  I am thankful that there have been no further deaths here.  I hope you can help stop it happening again there too.

Brisbane southside.

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