Jump to content

Dead headless birds in my backyard.
What would killing them?


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 Bkrsdzn+1

Posted 24 October 2010 - 09:42 AM

Over the last month we have found around 10 dead birds in our backyard, they are usually decapitated and occasionally missing a wing. We have a dog, I'm sure it's not him and his presence keeps any cats away. I think the birds are maybe blackbirds or similar. We do occasionally get butcher birds and have some currawongs around. I know they both rob nests, but I would have thought that they would eat more than the head, and also the dead birds don't appear to be young.  I remember reading about currawongs hanging dead birds around their nests for the young to eat but mr google on my phone won't find that info for me now.

Does anyone know if the currawong thing is true? Any other ideas?

#2 xenabonjovi

Posted 24 October 2010 - 09:47 AM

could b quals as that is exactly what they do. Kill birds in such a fashion and leave the body behind.

#3 !!!

Posted 24 October 2010 - 09:54 AM

Do you have any small carnivorous mammals/marsupials living in your yard?

eta: besides your dog.

It doesn't sound like something another bird would do to me.

ZOMG that sentence was bad.

Edited by *Mangosteen, 24 October 2010 - 09:55 AM.


#4 BetteBoop

Posted 24 October 2010 - 09:54 AM

I wouldn't rule puppy out as a suspect either. I know it doesn't seem possible but most dogs are instinctive hunters.

#5 Guest_Excentrique_*

Posted 24 October 2010 - 09:55 AM

eww. i would like to know what left under my clothesline

-3 mice skins
-and what looked like a chicken neck.  sick.gif

#6 Bkrsdzn+1

Posted 24 October 2010 - 09:58 AM

QUOTE (xenabonjovi @ 24/10/2010, 10:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
could b quals as that is exactly what they do. Kill birds in such a fashion and leave the body behind.

Thanks, just did a search though, and no not likely quolls, we are in Melbourne and from what I found they are in QLD.

#7 Bkrsdzn+1

Posted 24 October 2010 - 10:01 AM

QUOTE (BetteBoop @ 24/10/2010, 10:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wouldn't rule puppy out as a suspect either. I know it doesn't seem possible but most dogs are instinctive hunters.

I know it's not the dog. He's 11 years old and while I'm sure he would dream about bird catching, he's not capable of it.

Edited by Shell14, 24 October 2010 - 10:04 AM.


#8 Theophobic

Posted 24 October 2010 - 10:07 AM

Neighbourhood cat/s.

#9 Kay1

Posted 24 October 2010 - 10:10 AM

Cats don't eat the head. unsure.gif

#10 Kim

Posted 24 October 2010 - 10:24 AM

My first thought is an owl, they will kill other birds.. as do hawks and eagles (just owls are more common in the burbs)

Perhaps you have one nesting near by and they are losing their prey mid flight into your yard, then not game to collect the rest because of your dog.

#11 Littlegreenfrog

Posted 24 October 2010 - 10:53 AM

I'm thinking cats..

My cats kill rabits and only eat their heads and leaves the body in my laundry...

yuck

-Trudie

#12 whydoibother

Posted 24 October 2010 - 11:01 AM

I know at school I used to see crows that would rip pigeon heads off on  the class room roof sick.gif
I know starlings would kill my mums birds in their cages pecked them through the bars sad.gif

I would say cat, or some other scavenger???

#13 Maple Leaf

Posted 24 October 2010 - 11:01 AM

Set up a vid camera?
No other ideas! With a dog in the yard, I don't see cats bothering with going in there to get their prey or leave the remains there.

#14 Siouxie

Posted 24 October 2010 - 11:58 AM

Do you have any raptor species in your area?  We do, and they decapitate any bird unlucky enough to cross flight paths with them sad.gif  I've seen a 28 parrot decapitated in flight by a small kestral.  Clean off.

#15 Erma Gerd

Posted 24 October 2010 - 12:37 PM

When I was a kid and kept an aviary full of budgies, we had rats get in and eat the heads off many roosting birds.

#16 Sweet like a lemon

Posted 24 October 2010 - 12:53 PM

I really think you should call the RSPCA or Wildlife Helpline.

It does not seem like a domesticated animal is doing it. But if they are it needs to be reported anyway.  
A bird is not likely to leave it's pray with a body intact as they go  for the soft areas first. Snakes will swallow the whole carcass. Dingos  and devils are obviously out, and I can't think of any other meat eating  mammal here. So actually I think it is quite suspicious and very unpleasant.

What's behind the property?

eta: mjk, that is so sad! Were they bush rats?

Edited by ForsakenTruth, 24 October 2010 - 12:55 PM.


#17 eleishas

Posted 24 October 2010 - 01:46 PM

Completely unhelpful but eeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwww sick.gif

#18 WittyKitty

Posted 24 October 2010 - 02:00 PM

Butcher Birds will rip the heads off caged birds. Maybe they do that to wild ones, too?

It's unlikely to be cats, IMHO, as when they present a headless body it's usually to their own household through their instinct to provide.

PP, the rabbit is gross but kitty is thinking of you  wink.gif


#19 Bkrsdzn+1

Posted 25 October 2010 - 12:30 PM

Well it seems we have a currawong nest up high in our neighbors tree hanging over our fence, so I'm pretty sure that they are the culprits. My dad says that they kill birds and hang them in forks of branches around their nest; none of the dead birds we have found have been particularly fresh, and there has been a lot of wind over the last month or so which may have dislodged them. I'll watch more closely now, and see if I can prove my theory!

#20 goldimouse

Posted 25 October 2010 - 12:35 PM

It couldn't be bored and cruel teenagers could it?

#21 HRH Countrymel

Posted 25 October 2010 - 12:44 PM

QUOTE (Kay1 @ 24/10/2010, 11:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Cats don't eat the head. unsure.gif

My old cat used to do just that - then he would lovingly present them to me - sometimes in a neat row next to my bed!! Ah.. the joy of standing on a headless corpse first thing in the morning in your bare feet!

OP I've seen a currawong/crow (I'm in Tas and we use different words for different birds than Victoria) decapitate a budgie through the bars of a cage.

#22 Bkrsdzn+1

Posted 25 October 2010 - 12:49 PM

QUOTE (Robbie @ 25/10/2010, 01:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It couldn't be bored and cruel teenagers could it?

I'll assume that you are not implying that my teens would do anything so barbaric a assume you mean some random teen that gained access to my backyard. No, there is no way that some random bored cruel teen could have gained access to my backyard to dispose of dead headless birds.

#23 Bkrsdzn+1

Posted 25 October 2010 - 01:04 PM

Ok, for all those who couldn't believe a bird would do it, I just rang the RSPCA and as soon as I mentioned that we had currawongs nesting nearby she was certain that they were our culprit, she said that they are very aggressive at this time if year and that decapitation is their method of choice.   Have to say, that even though I thought it was the case, I'm relieved to be told so by an expert!

Edited by Shell14, 25 October 2010 - 01:05 PM.


#24 KristyMum-

Posted 25 October 2010 - 01:12 PM

our dog used to catch birds... that came in to eat her biscuits and were otherwise slow/sick or just not on their toes.  but she never did that to them so...

eta looks like you've found an answer... good stuff Shell.

Edited by KristyMum-, 25 October 2010 - 01:13 PM.


#25 GWTW

Posted 25 October 2010 - 01:18 PM

What an intersting thread OP. Very educating. I was going to suggest reptiles but the currawongs seem likely suspects here.

QUOTE (Kay1 @ 24/10/2010, 10:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Cats don't eat the head. unsure.gif


Yeah they do!




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

How an inquest into one stillbirth is saving lives

A ground-breaking court case that has focused solely on one stillborn baby has already helped to save the lives of other babies.

Get them into reading early with a Nouk book subscription

There's no bonding activity quite like reading to your baby or toddler, and all the signs point to it being important for social and literacy development as well.

I don't want my husband to go on a buck's trip

My husband's best friend is getting married and has planned a men's bachelor party.

The celeb parents who needed a mediator to stop fighting over baby names

Deciding on a baby name can be a fraught experience for many parents.

May Gibbs' 'Gumnut Babies' turns 100 with a special edition, coins, stamps and more

It's time to celebrate the centenary of May Gibbs' very first book release, Gumnut Babies.

African baby names

We have some absolutely gorgeous selections of African baby names for you to consider for your baby.

The mum who retrained to became a plumber

One company refused to give her an apprenticeship because they believed she would be too much of a distraction to the males. 

Meningococcal meningitis: signs, treatment and prevention

What is meningococcal meningitis, why does it occur in seasons, and why does it strike fear into the hearts of so many?

I was scared of the dentist ... and my son paid the price

It was a moment where I could certainly learn from his behaviour, and not him from mine.

Family of toddler killed by alligator at Disney honours his third birthday

The family told supporters that they wanted to celebrate the boy's "first birthday in heaven".

For the festival lover in all of us

Pre-book & Save 50%. Get your tickets now for Kidtopia Festival. 7-9 October 2016 Parramatta Park, Sydney.

7 tips to help you prepare your home for parenthood

Prep your home to make becoming a new parent as stress-free as possible.

Fatherhood to the beat of Daniel's drum

Daniel Gibney knew fatherhood would change him, but he didn't realise it would lead to a global business venture for his family.

A case of gastro and the mummy mean girls

I don't blame any first-time mother who is terrified of her or her baby catching gastro, but it will find you eventually.

Zooey Deschanel's cake smash fail for daughter Elsie

"I kept seeing on the Internet, 'You gotta make a smash cake for your one-year-old,' so I'm like, 'I'm making this cake just so she can smash it.'"

Five things mums should never do

Although I preach the "each to their own" method of parenting, it's unavoidable to have those moments of panic.

Mum allegedly 'groped' while holding toddler in Sydney pool

A mum has told of her horror after she was allegedly sexually assaulted while at a swimming centre with her two young children.

'It whacked me': Michelle Bridges on sleep deprivation and returning to exercise

Michelle Bridges knows a lot about health and fitness, but when she became a mum she had to learn a few lessons the hard way.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win a Hawaii beachfront resort holiday for two!

Enter now for your chance to win 1 of 4 trips for two to Hawaii, staying at Outrigger resorts in Waikiki.

For the festival lover in all of us

Pre-book & Save 50%. Get your tickets now for Kidtopia Festival. 7-9 October 2016 Parramatta Park, Sydney.

 

Vintage Toys

The toys of your childhood

Take a trip down memory lane with these vinage and retro toys that you may have had in your childhood or your parent's childhood.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.