Dead Bird in Backyard (Meaning, Cause And What To Do)

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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No one likes to find a dead bird in their compound, though it’s natural for it to happen. You might find it gross or consider it to be a bad omen.

Proper removal of the bird will reduce the risks of infections, bacteria, and other adverse effects on humans.

Dead bird in the backyard pets
Dead bird in the backyard cause

Do not leave the dead bird exposed as it will attract your dog or cat. If they consume it they might become ill from the carcass.

Not only that, if your pet feeds on the dead bird, it can be accustomed to it and end up preying on birds including pet birds.

Keep In Mind – Burying the bird is not a good solution. This is because the predators can still dig it out since they have a good sense of smell.

What Could Have Caused The Death Of The Bird?

The location you found the dead bird could give you a clue as to what killed it.

Other indications could also help, for example, wounds from predators or collisions or any signs of illness.

If you found the dead bird near a window, the bird probably succumbed from the impact after it hit the window.

Other major causes of their death could be inhaling or ingesting pesticides, weather, poison baits, viral disease, or outdoor pets such as cats or dogs.

The most common diseases known to kill a bird are:

You might get tempted to find the cause of its death, but it’s advised to get rid of the bird safely as soon as possible to avoid spreading any infections to other animals.

What Should I Do When I Find A Dead Bird?

It is heart-breaking for an animal lover to find a dead bird in the backyard.

In some cases, people will leave the bird alone. However, if you do this the bird might end up being eaten by your pet dog or cat.

Dead bird in a backyard
Things to do when you notice a dead bird in a backyard

This is dangerous since the bird might have died due to an infectious disease.

Therefore, it would be best if you dispose of the bird and, when doing so, make sure you observe the safety measures.

Confirm first if the bird is dead

You might assume it is dead while it is not.

Confirm first whether the animal is dead or not. However, do make contact with the bird unless you have protected gear on when doing so.

If the bird is not dead, contact wildlife medical to take care of it.

Keep yourself protected

Wear protective gear when handling the bird since the parasites could transfer infections.

Wear disposable gloves and don’t recycle them if you have to use them again, such as cleaning feeders, chores, or garden work.

If it’s hard for you to find gloves, you can improvise by wearing a plastic bag to protect your hands.

Use the right tools

Avoid contact with the dead body as much as possible.

Use tools like a small shovel or rake. Don’t forget to wear gloves when you are disposing of the bird.

Use additional barriers such as cardboard or a newspaper to prevent cross-contamination.

Wrap the body

Using a plastic bag, wrap the body and seal it completely.

If you don’t have a plastic bag, use a different material as long as you ensure the body is tightly wrapped to avoid any contamination.

Keep the bird in a closed container

Keep it in a container away from other predators.

Put the bag in a trash container where pets, scavengers, or even children won’t reach. After placing the bird, ensure the container is well closed.

Clean the mess thoroughly

If the bird left a mess where it succumbed, remove the soil patch and pour a disinfectant into the area.

If the bird has exposed wounds and injuries, sterilize the tools used with a disinfectant or a bleach solution.

Wash your hands

When you dispose of the dead bird, wash your hands thoroughly using hand wash or disinfectant.

You should not use gloves as an excuse for not washing your hands. If you don’t have water, you can use hand sanitizers and wash your hands after that.

What Happens If You Touch A Dead Bird?

Birds are regarded as beautiful creatures, and you might get tempted to touch their body to take a closer look.

However, if you touch the bird, you need to wash your hands immediately. Birds can transmit diseases to humans, especially when they are dead.

Washing hands protection
Wash your hands if touch a dead bird

They can carry harmful microorganisms, viruses, and bacteria in their bodies or feathers.

Chances of getting sick are high if you don’t wash your hands, especially while eating, smoking, or drinking.

Some of the diseases you can get are fungal, bacteria, or viral diseases from contamination.


For Example: If you are infected, you will have some symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and acute abdominal pain.  


Prevention Action You Can Engage That Might Help

You can avoid window collisions by drawing some markings outside the windows to manipulate the bird into an object.

Bottle Feeder Table idea
Bottle Feeder Table

You can use other things to manipulate, such as:

  • paint
  • Zen curtains
  • decals
  • and soap

Use of well-drained trays and feeders. Monitor birdseed frequently to ensure it’s not wet or moldy.

Also, try to dispose of any wet or moldy seeds immediately as they can spread diseases. 

Lastly – If you spot a dead bird, dispose of it immediately as possible and close the feeders to avoid disease spread.

In What Cases Should I Report A Dead Bird?

  • Suppose the bird species is hard to find in your area. This could indicate poaching or other cases that need to be studied further.
  • If you find more than two birds of the same species in one area, you need to report it as this could indicate a disease outbreak or contamination.
  • Report to the authority responsible if the bird has tracking equipment wrapped around it.

Superstitious Beliefs About Dead Birds

When alive, birds are considered creatures that bring hope, freedom, and joy.

However, when dead, they can have a different meaning.

A dead bird is a symbolic meaning of:

  • hopelessness
  • failure
  • or grief

The location of the bird’s death could hold a different meaning. The end of the bird’s life could mean the end of something important in yours.

Eagle is a predator for foxes
Enormous eagle

Their death could also mean transformation or a change in your life. 

The type of bird also determines the kind of symbolism.

For Example – Dead eagles have a negative meaning. The eagle is known for its power and royalty. Their death could mean the change of these things.

To some people, the death of a bird on their property does not mean something will happen to them.

Some will consider it something in your life that is coming to a stop and affects you more if you choose to resist it.

Final Thoughts                           

It’s common to find a dead bird in your backyard; thus, knowing what to do when this happens is important.

You must be aware of the effects and precautions to avoid any adverse results during disposal.

To some people, the death of a bird will be scary as it can mean the end of something important to their life while they will consider it to be a cause from nature.

If you find a dead bird in the yard, you should carefully get rid of the carcass for safety and health reasons.

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