Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Sunday 11th June 2006, 10:45   #1
Kezza
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: uk
Posts: 2,238
Headless birds

Whilst out yesterday I came across a dead Blackbird and a House Sparrow (in the same area), each had had their head removed.

The bodies had not been eaten at all and there weren't any scattered feathers. Each bird looked perfect and tidy (not the right word but I can't think how else to describe it) apart from the head, which was missing altogether from the Blackbird and the Sparrow's lay next to the body.

What creature would have done this?
Kezza is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2007
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Sunday 11th June 2006, 15:02   #2
ceasar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NE Pennsylvania
Posts: 7,851
They could have been harrassing a large Buteo or Eagle and paid the price. Golden Eagles have been seen grabibing Sharpshin Hawks that were harrassing them while they were flying and then biting off their heads and dropping them.
Bob

Last edited by ceasar : Sunday 11th June 2006 at 15:06.
ceasar is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2010
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Sunday 11th June 2006, 16:13   #3
jon hardacre
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: PICKERING NORTH YORKS
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kezza
Whilst out yesterday I came across a dead Blackbird and a House Sparrow (in the same area), each had had their head removed.

The bodies had not been eaten at all and there weren't any scattered feathers. Each bird looked perfect and tidy (not the right word but I can't think how else to describe it) apart from the head, which was missing altogether from the Blackbird and the Sparrow's lay next to the body.

What creature would have done this?
Your local moggy could be a prime suspect.
Regards Jon
__________________
jon hardacre is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 11th June 2006, 17:06   #4
Stephen Menzie
Being English isn't about hate. It's about disgust. We're all disgusting...
 
Stephen Menzie's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Liverpool, Merseyside
Posts: 727
If they are in the same area, could be some kind of stash for a pussy cat.

They kill em usually by taking their heads of then delicately carry them away to eat later. would explain the lack of feathers
normally they find the bowl of felix more appealing when they get home though...

Menzie

Last edited by Stephen Menzie : Wednesday 21st June 2006 at 08:32.
Stephen Menzie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 11th June 2006, 17:19   #5
Kezza
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: uk
Posts: 2,238
Thanks for the replys. We have no eagles here (unfortunately!) but perhaps it could have been another bird? As for the cats, the birds were in the grounds of a school out in the open about 100yrds from each other. Yes I'm sure there are local cats but what puzzled me is how niether was chewed, mangled or anything. I used to own cats and know what a 'cat got' bird usually looks like. This seemed too clean cut, not a feather out of place. I was puzzled as to what could have killed like that and why didn't they eat it.
Kezza is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2007
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Sunday 11th June 2006, 17:21   #6
Kentbloke
Ah, yes, well
 
Kentbloke's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Folkestone
Posts: 871
I once watched 2 magpies noisily mobbing a Jay, it seemed injured by the way it was flying and the maggies were relentless in there attack. After a while I checked the area a found the Jay complete but without it's head!
__________________
All the pretty birds have flown... now I'm dancing on my own - Paddy Mcaloon
Kentbloke is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 11th June 2006, 19:28   #7
Kezza
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: uk
Posts: 2,238
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentbloke
I once watched 2 magpies noisily mobbing a Jay, it seemed injured by the way it was flying and the maggies were relentless in there attack. After a while I checked the area a found the Jay complete but without it's head!
Ah now that seems to fit. Thinking about it there were two Rooks around while I was there and I'm sure there's bound to be Magpies too. I've never seen it before. Wonder what the poor things did to deserve that.
Kezza is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2007
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Monday 12th June 2006, 06:03   #8
mrs fish
Registered User
 
mrs fish's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Ipswich, Suffolk
Posts: 107
A friend found a headless long tailed tit near its nest, it was a youngster and a magpie had been about, my son saw a long brown animal with a moorhen and it was headless, I thought stoat or weasel, but was wondering do rats kill birds?
__________________
The egg came first.
mrs fish is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 12th June 2006, 06:31   #9
sammyboy
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 312
I'd suspect a cat too, our next door's cat killed a mouse last night, and ate the top part of it but left the rest.

Though cats usually leave a load a feathers when making a kill don't they?
sammyboy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 12th June 2006, 08:01   #10
Anthony Morton
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Buckinghamshire
Posts: 1,483
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar
They could have been harrassing a large Buteo or Eagle and paid the price. Golden Eagles have been seen grabibing Sharpshin Hawks that were harrassing them while they were flying and then biting off their heads and dropping them.
Bob
Good grief! I know everything is supposed to be bigger in the U.S.A., but a Blackbird and a House Sparrow harrassing Buzzards and Eagles?

Take cover!

BTW, my suggestion for the perpetrator of the headless bird corpses would be nothing more sinister than rats.
Anthony Morton is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 12th June 2006, 08:30   #11
Andy Bright
Administrator
 
Andy Bright's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Watford
Posts: 4,407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Morton
BTW, my suggestion for the perpetrator of the headless bird corpses would be nothing more sinister than rats.
My guess as well, seen it often and definitely no feline intervention... tempting as it is to blame moggies
__________________
www.Digiscoped.com
also, if you're particularly bored, try www.andybright.com - mediocre aviation photography
Andy Bright is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Monday 12th June 2006, 13:48   #12
The Tom
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Birkenhead
Posts: 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs fish
A friend found a headless long tailed tit near its nest, it was a youngster and a magpie had been about, my son saw a long brown animal with a moorhen and it was headless, I thought stoat or weasel, but was wondering do rats kill birds?
Rats will certainly kill birds taking anything from eggs ,chicks or fully grown birds . I once saw a large brown rat attack a Thrush and before I could interfere the rat had killed the poor bird and dragged it under a bush . I think the poor old moggy may sometimes be blamed for predating birds killed by rats .
The Tom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 12th June 2006, 19:00   #13
robbie_d_e
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: wales
Posts: 97
I opened my front door yesterday morning and found what appeared to be a sparrowhawk,s head just by the door, then, I looked around 1 corner I saw its upper wing and round the other corner was its legs.
robbie_d_e is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 13th June 2006, 08:55   #14
Kezza
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: uk
Posts: 2,238
Thanks everyone for the replys.

I'm not convinced a cat was to blame. Too tidy a kill and also on playground and playing field with short grass, at least 70y from any cover so I would think difficult for a cat to sneak up on.

I think Kentbloke's experience has decided it for me. Probably a Crow/Magpie or similar. Perhaps the unfortunate birds had some food they wanted to steal, who knows. Thanks for the ideas.
Kezza is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2007
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Tuesday 13th June 2006, 09:57   #15
ruddyduck
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Kent
Posts: 73
My parents have a big apple tree in their garden and every year a couple of magpies chase sparrows hiding amongst the branches and rip their heads off?
They don't seem to touch the bodies, just rip the heads off? It's very upsetting, but I guess that's nature? You would think the head would be the most indigestible part of prey, wouldn't you?!
ruddyduck is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 13th June 2006, 10:44   #16
OwlTalon
Always Watching
 
OwlTalon's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,057
Blog Entries: 9
Assuming that a corvid did this, I heard about an american kestrel found near a common raven's nest. The body was right underneath the nest and, suprise! It was headless. They found the head a little ways off. The kestrel must have been too near the nest and payed for it. A corvid does seem a likely candidate for the decapitator of those birds.
__________________
Latest Lifers: Crested Caracara, Marbled Godwit, Burrowing Owl, Common Redpoll, Greater White-fronted Goose, Life List: 378
OwlTalon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Israel December 2005 Rich Bonser Vacational Trip Reports 2 Sunday 29th January 2006 08:43
Queensland - October/November 2004 Edward Vacational Trip Reports 13 Thursday 17th March 2005 15:52
Bats eat birds on the wing peter hayes Birds & Birding 8 Sunday 29th June 2003 11:44
Parliament debates Wild Birds shock peter hayes Birds & Birding 28 Tuesday 18th February 2003 09:23

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Search the net with ask.com
Help support BirdForum
Ask.com and get

Page generated in 0.17838311 seconds with 25 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 11:27.