No one likes to come across a lifeless bird on their property, especially if you love animals. So, when this happens, you may freeze because you don’t know what to do with a dead bird in your yard.
Unfortunately, this is something that usually happens; it’s part of nature.
Birds can be killed by predator birds, severe illness, or by accidents where they crash hard onto glass windows. If you see a lifeless bird on your property, carefully dispose of the bird’s remains for safety and health reasons.
This article will help you understand what to do with a dead bird in your yard, prepare your mind and alert you to the different ways to get it done so you can stop the spread of possible diseases.
What You Should Do If You See A Dead Bird In Your Yard?
You can find a dead bird close to your window, near your bird feeder, the middle of the yard, or the roosting arena, and bear in mind that the place of death can serve as a clue to reveal the cause of death.
The bird could have died from colliding with a window that broke its neck. In most cases, visible wounds from the dead bird’s body can tell you if it died from a predator attack.
Also, if the bird has pox lesions, it could indicate that it was suffering from advanced disease.
Most times, when people see the lifeless body of a bird, they are often tempted to check the bird to determine the cause of death. If you’re one of those who do this, please stop.
You need to quickly dispose of the bird’s lifeless body safely and securely, so you don’t mistakenly start spreading parasites or illnesses to other animals.
You can quickly inspect the bird if you like and after that, take it away.
Here Are The Things You Need To Consider If You Find A Dead Bird In Your Yard
Ensure that you’re wearing protective gloves before picking up the dead bird, placing it in an airtight plastic bag, and adding it to your regular trash.
Dead birds attract insects, mites, and bacteria that can transfer diseases to humans.
Ensure that you use disposable gloves, and please don’t put on the same gloves you use when cleaning feeders, handling seed, or doing other garden or household chores.
If you don’t have enough gloves, you can leverage a plastic bag to shield your hands.
Use proper tools
When moving the bird’s body, ensure to use a rake, small shovel, or other tools to get it done. Don’t allow any part of your body to touch the dead bird, so you don’t get infected with a possible illness.
You can leverage a piece of cardboard, a disposable rag, or a newspaper sheet to help with the transfer.
Wrap the bird
Place the bird inside a plastic bag that can be sealed or twisted shut.
If you don’t have access to such bags, you can wrap the lifeless bird with several newspaper sheets or rags that you can discard with the dead bird.
Hide the body from predators
After you have secured the bird’s lifeless body in a plastic bag, or maybe you wrapped it with sheets of newspaper, carefully place the bag inside a trash container and cover it so that scavengers, pets, and children won’t find it.
Confirm that the container is well covered so that it can’t be raided by hungry predators looking for their next meal.
Predators like raccoons, dogs, cats, and rats have a huge sense of smell, and if the container isn’t well covered, they can find their way to the carcass, eat it and fall sick.
Similarly, don’t think of burying birds because the same set of predators listed above, except for rats, can dig up the carcass.
Clean up your body
If you came in contact with the dead bird’s open injuries or body fluids while moving it from where it was, you need to clean yourself thoroughly.
Also, don’t forget to sterilize the tools you used to move the bird away so it can be free from any unforeseen virus or bacteria.
Furthermore, if there’s a huge mess where the bird was, pour cleaning solution where the mess is, and remove the patch of soil, dirt, or sod.
By doing so, you may kill any grass that grows there. However, that shouldn’t bother you that much because you’re also killing any dangerous bacteria that hide there.
Wash your hands
Ensure to wash your hands with hot water and soap after you’ve handled dead birds. Even if you wore gloves and strongly feel that you never had any body contact with the bird, still wash your hands.
If you don’t have access to running water, you can use a hand sanitizer to sanitize your hand pending when you get some water to wash correctly.
Reporting dead birds
There are some cases where it may not be necessary to report dead birds, especially the common backyard ones.
However, here are some situations that need to be reported to the local authorities or wildlife officers so an investigation can commence.
The Bird Appears To Be Killed By Humans
If the bird appears to have a gunshot wound, is caught in balloon debris, or seems to have choked on a litter, it would be wise to report to the local authorities or wildlife resource officers.
The authorities might decide to investigate potential wildlife crimes or decide on new conservation measures.
If More Birds Of Similar Species Die In The Same Region
If you notice that multiple birds of the same species are dying in the same area and within a short time frame, you need to report to the local authorities or wildlife resource officers so they can begin their investigation.
Suppose many birds of the same species that stay within a particular region begin to die. In that case, it’s usually a sign of environmental contamination or a massive disease outbreak that might be a local threat.
Bird of prey or a giant bird
If you find the carcass of a bird of prey or a bigger bird in your yard, it’s usually a sign of substantial environmental problems, especially if the bird was sick.
Another reason you should report it is that poachers are primarily attracted to big birds and can shoot to kill, injure or capture and these criminal elements need to be brought to book.
If the bird is tagged
If you notice that the dead bird in your yard is tagged with tracking gear, you need to report it to wildlife resource officers so they can retrieve data from the bird and update their records.
This can be a valuable way of assisting naturalists, ornithologists, and other wildlife scientists who rely on tracking data to examine threats to birds, seasonal ranges, migration, and additional information.
Foreign species in your area
If the dead bird is part of a foreign species that isn’t usually seen in your region, it could signify that you have a poaching situation on your hands.
This is why the local authorities or wildlife resource officers need to be contacted to study and investigate possible poaching situations.
However, if the local authorities or wildlife resource officers aren’t interested in the foreign dead bird sample, a university or a local museum might need it.
When you call the local authorities or wildlife resource officers, ensure that you provide them with adequate details of the unusual dead bird before getting rid of it.
In most cases, they may ask that you secure the carcass so they can come and evacuate it to their lab for more studies.
Also, you could be asked to take some photographs of the dead bird and send them across to the relevant authorities.
Furthermore, they may even instruct you on how to preserve the bird properly so it stays intact before they come.
What Diseases Can One Get From A Dead Bird?
Bacterial, viral, and fungal diseases can be spread from birds to humans, which is why you’re advised not to have body contact with a dead bird’s injuries and body fluids.
One of the common diseases you can get from contact with an infected dead bird is Salmonellosis.
This sickness is also regarded as food poisoning. So anyone who has it will show the following symptoms.
- Acute abdominal pain
There is a high risk of catching Salmonellosis from interacting with a dead bird who has the illness. So always ensure that you have your gloves on before getting close to a dead bird.
The Bottom Line
What to do when you find a dead bird in your yard is not that difficult. You need to understand that, since you’re a bird lover, finding a dead bird in your yard can be a common occurrence.
However, why such happens, the important thing is to ensure that you’re wearing gloves before touching the dead bird (that’s if you even have to touch them).
Suppose it’s time to take it out of your property, use a long tool, and put on your gloves. If you need help, you can call the local authorities or wildlife resource officers or hire an expert to help you out.