Dead Birds are Hard to Find
According to one estimate, over 13 million birds die every DAY in the United States. That adds up to 5 billion dead birds a year in the United States. Or, by another measure, it is as many dead birds in two minutes as there have been tweets by Donald Trump while he has been President. Given those numbers, it’s hard to believe that I only occasionally come across a dead bird.
Where do all these millions of dead birds go? My guess is that a big number are eaten by cats or dogs or coyotes or hawks. If they’re killed by predation, then it’s no surprise we don’t find them. Take the House Finch in this Cooper’s Hawk’s talons – if I’d walked by 10 minutes later, there’d likely have been no dead bird to find.
It also seems likely that most birds don’t die on roads, sidewalks, or hiking trails, where we’re likely to see them. Instead, they die in the brush, off the path, or in lakes and rivers. And scavengers and insects probably make quick work of the bodies, further reducing the chance that we stumble upon a carcass.