Bird Identification

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By an edhat reader

I came home during my lunch and was shocked to find four dead birds on my patio (they're 6" from tip of beak to end of tail feathers).

It was the oddest formation they were and I've never seen anything like it, so I'm guessing they accidentally flew into my upstairs window. I guess I'm wondering if anyone can identify them, but I also didn't know how to dispose of them or what to do with them - trash them?  Bury them?  Donate them to science?  I wouldn't know where to start.

Any information and advice would be greatly appreciated.

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ACF Mar 27, 2019 12:15 PM
Bird Identification

Yes, cedar waxwings. We used to have lots, but fewer in recent years. I take my dead birds to the Museum of Natural History, where they are preserved. Do it quickly. I think the fridge is ok for a short time, but don't put them in the freezer.

Lucky 777 Mar 27, 2019 07:46 AM
Bird Identification

If you feel like you'd like to contribute to science you can call the Museum of Natural History and ask Krista Fahy if she needs the specimens. She might stuff one, and the others could be kept as study skins or go to the taxidermy classes to practice on. I keep taxidermy specimens as decorations in my business because for me they represent beauty that has lived on beyond death.

MountainMan4865 Mar 26, 2019 07:45 PM
Bird Identification

I am curious to know what area of town this is in....

MountainMan4865 Mar 26, 2019 09:18 PM
Bird Identification

I only ask because I know the crop dusters were out in the foothills just a few days ago. We watched them pass over Old San Marcos around the bridge crossing, but I know they are not just a day thing.

TYH77 Mar 26, 2019 09:12 PM
Bird Identification

Goleta near Cottage Hospital/Post Office.

oceandrew Mar 26, 2019 05:45 PM
Bird Identification

Were they still there 30 mins after you took the photos? I have picture windows and often hear the thump of a bird collision. There was only one time when the victim was knocked out long enough for me to place it in towel lined box for transport only to have it fly the coop first chance it got.

MountainMan4865 Mar 26, 2019 09:15 PM
Bird Identification

Whoa whoa whoa! I don't think anyone said this was a serial problem. As I understand it, it was an unusual and singular event. We have hummers that hit our windows often. I have hung things, blocked views, and yet, with their territorial antics, it doesn't always stop them from "thumping" on the windows. There is no way that you can blame someone, living in a house for a die-off of birds, just because they have... windows. I had a sharp-shinned hawk fly into my house, through the door, after a small bird outside the window on the other side of the house. He crashed into the window - inside - and was fine. Should I be netting my house? Perhaps the property? Oh, wait... I smell a troll. My bad, fell for it.

TYH77 Mar 26, 2019 09:09 PM
Bird Identification

@155: Not where I live currently, but I have experienced a bird knock itself and fly away once at the home I grew up in, and also once or twice when I was in grade school AT school. I guess one could equate your comment to driving a car, motorcycle, riding a bike, going at any fast velocity and having a bug smash into your window/helmet/mask, etc. That's outrageous that you didn't do anything to prevent such 'incidental' killing. BUT...I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not, so, you know... Lastly, I didn't make the decision to build the condo (I wasn't born when they were built) and I have tried other ways to prevent things like this from happening. But nature happens. We're just in the way ;-)

therealbebe Mar 26, 2019 08:44 PM
Bird Identification

Dude, 8:00pm, relax. Do you need an aspirin? You seem a little fussy.

mtndriver Mar 26, 2019 08:26 PM
Bird Identification

Birds fly into windows with decals and ribbons and netting and all kinds of deterrents. Not necessary to guilt-trip the OP!

TYH77 Mar 26, 2019 06:46 PM
Bird Identification

OP here: I'm not sure how long they were there, but some of them had already begun to hit rigger. I've experienced the ill-fated 'thump' noise, but to see the formation that they fell in was just bizarre.

Flicka Mar 26, 2019 04:53 PM
Bird Identification

So sad. Nice of you to be concerned about their disposal. The suggestion about Vector Control might be a good idea in case they had a bird virus.

MountainMan4865 Mar 26, 2019 04:39 PM
Bird Identification

You could ask Vector Control for SB County. I believe they track bird viruses - or they could direct you to the most appropriate resource if you suspect something other than your window. (805) 969-5050

4358ed Mar 26, 2019 03:40 PM
Bird Identification

Is there a large house plant or indoor tree in the window? Over the holiday we were averaging one avian death a day until we moved our Christmas Tree from in front of the window.

TYH77 Mar 26, 2019 06:48 PM
Bird Identification

OP here: No tree or anything near the actual window. We live in a loft, so the window is unreachable (unless by ladder). I'm guessing that maybe they saw the reflection of the clouds or were being chased and thought it was a way out. It was definitely a bummer.

a-1561419613 Mar 26, 2019 03:06 PM
Bird Identification

Get spade-tip shovel...dig 10-inch deep hole...pick birds up in shovel...place birds in hole....cover hole with the dirt you just dug up...say a prayer for each bird...wash hands...wash hands again.

a-1561419613 Mar 26, 2019 03:00 PM
Bird Identification

They look like Cedar Waxwings, they eat berries from bushes like pyrocantha and toyon sometimes they get intoxicated from fermented fruits and will crash into windows.

TYH77 Mar 26, 2019 06:50 PM
Bird Identification

OP here: Thank you for that information! Much appreciated!

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