17 August 2009

Where do dead birds go? — Part 48B

Continuing our series on what happens to birds after they die. The previous posts were here, here and here.

And here is a bird that lost its head and couldn't go anywhere.


I photographed this one 10 days ago near the Delisle River in Quebec, Canada. There were geese and ducks and one gull in the river, busily feeding themselves. But I can't tell what species this dead one is. As judged by the size of my shoe, it was a relatively large bird. A duck perhaps?

So, once again, if you do a lot of walking around and pay attention to what's on the ground, you are likely to see plenty of dead birds, in addition to snail shells.


John said...

It doesn't look to me like the feet are webbed, so I think it's probably not a duck. Given the thin legs and chicken-like feet, I think it's most likely some sort of wader. One possibility would be a youngish (juvenile or first summer) night heron. A second possibility would be a large shorebird, like a yellowlegs, which are migrating right now. A third possibility would be a juvenile Cooper's hawk, though those don't really look like raptor feet to me.

Kirk said...

Juvenile ring-billed gull. They're pretty common there, size is about right,plumage says to me it's young.


There indeed was an adult gull in the river. The legs & the feet of the dead one were mostly skeletonized; that's probably why the webbing is not obvious.