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birdyOffline
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Joined: 17 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: 19-07-2014 09:50    Post subject: Birdy Reply with quote

Hi folks,
Saw something a little odd last on the way back from the pub (I know); it was dark and we live down an alley, one side of which is the back of a gym with shuttered windows. Waking down by the gym I noticed a dark shape on the 'cill' of one of these windows, on closer inspection it was a bird - completely still, eyes open, feathers fluffed and standing on the cill, only completely and utterly dead.
We had a fair bit of lightning over London last night and I wondered whether it was scared to death, but apparently that's not very likely.

Decided to go out just now and try to take a pic - no bird! It's gone, was it alive?!
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 19-07-2014 10:08    Post subject: Re: Birdy Reply with quote

birdy wrote:
Decided to go out just now and try to take a pic - no bird! It's gone, was it alive?!

Hence the saying, "Watch the Birdie!" Wink
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special_farcesOffline
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PostPosted: 19-07-2014 10:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

The storm might have disturbed the roost, and it hit the wall or a window. After a big storm at night a few years ago, the grounds around a friends flat were littered with dead and injured starlings which she had watched flying around in panic and crashing into her building.

Dead animals get chomped up pretty quickly in urban and rural environments. Theres even a beetle that will make off with a fresh corpse sharpish:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Burying_beetle

Chance are a cat, rat or fox bagged your bird.

Or it could have been in a torpid state.
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FrideswideOffline
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PostPosted: 19-07-2014 11:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

How did you find out that it being scared to death wasn't likely? Are pigeons more robust than other things or is the whole scared to death thing unlikely?

Either way, good spot!
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 19-07-2014 12:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frideswide wrote:
How did you find out that it being scared to death wasn't likely? Are pigeons more robust than other things or is the whole scared to death thing unlikely?

Either way, good spot!


Hes not a dog you know.
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FrideswideOffline
Very Trying
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PostPosted: 19-07-2014 12:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

ramonmercado wrote:

Hes not a dog you know.


Prove it! Blah

what's your evidence then? eh? eh? Laughing
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 19-07-2014 12:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

How can you be sure it was dead?
It may have been playing dead, to avoid attracting the attention of nocturnal predators.
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 19-07-2014 12:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mythopoeika wrote:
How can you be sure it was dead?
It may have been playing dead, to avoid attracting the attention of nocturnal predators.


It was deceased.
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FrideswideOffline
Very Trying
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PostPosted: 19-07-2014 12:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

Follow up question: was it a parrot rather than a pigeon?
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birdyOffline
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PostPosted: 19-07-2014 12:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a knack for spotting animals and birds wherever I am. I suppose I'm not sure it was dead, it was standing after all, it's just that it's eyes looked matte rather than glossy, my boyfriend went to touch it and I stopped him in case it had just frozen out of fear.

It looked like a blackbird although in the dark it was hard to tell and it was super fluffed up, we do have a pair that live around the alley.
I looked to a parakeet forum for advice on birds being scared to death by sounds and the consensus was that it's unlikely unless the bird is already ailing.

I agree that perhaps it had hit the wall and was In a torpid state, that seems like a good shout.
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davidplanktonOffline
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PostPosted: 19-07-2014 15:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

birdy wrote:
it's just that it's eyes looked matte rather than glossy,



Birds have a third eyelid
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nictitating_membrane

which may mean it was simply asleep when you saw it.

There was a dead kestrel on a tree branch on our school bus run, many years ago. It was there every day for about three weeks. OK, it could have been a very lazy kestrel.
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RyoHazukiOffline
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PostPosted: 19-07-2014 18:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of the dead birds I see near the house are fairly obviously deceased thanks to the cats, however one morning a few months ago I found a Snipe sitting upright in the middle of the lawn, eyes open and wings and legs neatly folded, quite lifeless and cold. There was no obvious sign of violence, all the feathers were smooth with no bloodstains, so I can only guess that it stopped for a rest and just... expired for some reason. I actually posed it on a fence and took some close-up 'lifelike' photos to send to Countryfile, but conscience prevailed in the end Smile
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birdyOffline
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PostPosted: 19-07-2014 21:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes it could have been asleep, perhaps disorientated by the weather, which would make sense of it's fluffed feathers.
Pics of the bird on the fence please! I know it's a grim but... In the name of investigating the strange?
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Human_84Offline
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PostPosted: 31-07-2014 04:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scared to death = heart attack?

Kind of a pet peeve of mine when people give simplified causes of death. Another one is "died in his sleep." I'd like to know what that means.

On motionless birds, I once saw a bird hanging upside down on a tree during an ice storm (just a few meters away form me). It seemed that his feet were frozen to the branch, his eyes were open and he was motionless. It seemed that he was dead, but then later he was gone. No fluffed feathers that I remember.
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RyoHazukiOffline
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PostPosted: 01-08-2014 16:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

birdy wrote:
Pics of the bird on the fence please! I know it's a grim but... In the name of investigating the strange?


I couldn't find any of the artfully-posed ones, but here it is as found:

http://i.imgur.com/eoGGnbIl.jpg
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