What Kills Birds Instantly? Foods, Plants, & Household Hazards


Written by

Clinton Atkins



George Dukes

what kills birds instantly

Birds are sociable creatures that often hunt together for food. They are seen as a group sipping on flower nectar, munching on seeds, foraging for insects, and even visiting houses. Birds are known to eat a lot, and sometimes what they consume is harmful to them.

Other times, what kills birds instantly has to do with household hazards. And as humans with superior intellect, it’s our job to keep toxic foods, plants, and household items that are fatal to birds

What Can Kill Birds

Birds can experience sudden death anytime, and most of the time, the cause is the food they intake. Toxic food kills birds instantly, and they must be kept from the avians. These foods include:

1. Caffeinated Food


Caffeine is part of the daily routine of humans. It boosts the energy levels, and elevates heart rate. But the good effects of caffeine on people are fatal when it comes to the avian species.

Caffeinated foods such as cakes and muffins are a big no to passerines, especially coffee.

2. Garlic and Onions


Garlic has a chemical called allicin, and onions contain sulfur substances. Both are toxic to all avian species.

Birds are especially at risk if they ingest the concentrated version of garlic and onions. And raw or cooked spices can be fatal too.

3. Chocolate

The irresistible chocolate food is super appealing to humans, as well as to birds. But it contains caffeine and theobromine that cause hyperactivity that could be too much for the flying creatures, Seizures can also happen to avians that eat even the smallest amount of chocolate, which leads to death.

4. Apple Seeds


Cyanide is fatal to humans and birds. And there is actually cyanide in apple seeds. This information could come as a shock to many people since apples are a common favorite fruit.

5. Cassava


All forms of cassava, such as tapioca, flour, and roots are harmful to birds. Cassava has a tiny quantity of cyanide that can be deadly to avians when consumed in large amounts.

6. Salty Food

Pretzels, salted nuts, crackers, pizza, popcorn, cheese, and chips are a few examples of salty food. Salt has the ability to disrupt the balance of electrolytes in the bird’s body, as well as the fluids. If avians eat salty foods, they can end up dead.

7. Dairy Products

Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, and any type of cream can cause severe diarrhea to birds. And this illness can kill the birds, especially when consumed in large amounts.

8. Mushrooms


Mushrooms, especially false morel, are fatal to birds. They lead to liver failure which can cause sudden death to the avians. All parts of the mushrooms can kill a bird.

9. Sugar-free Candies


The xylitol content of sugar-free candies are bad for the bird’s health. It impairs their liver and drops their blood sugar dangerously. By consuming this kind of human food, birds can see the end of their life.

10. Bubble Gum

Bubble gum is never a good idea for birds, so keep your gums wrapped before disposal. If birds chew gum, it can stick to their throat and choke them to death.

Poisonous Plants to Avoid

There are plants in the forests, gardens, and homes that kills wild birds instantly, as well as pet passerines. Birds need to eat, and they do love to make plants as their next meal. However, not all plants are good for the avians, and some are poisonous for the birds.

Here are the top 10 plants that are toxic to birds:

  • Avocado – The toxic parts of the avocado plant are the stems, pit, unripe fruits, and leaves.


  • They carry a substance called resin that can cause cardiac failure, breathing problems, and severe weakness that leads to death. Avocado is fatal to birds, but most especially to smaller breeds.
  • Lilies – The lilies are beautiful flowers, but they’re deadly to birds due to the oxalates substance.


  • All kinds of lilies have the same effect on the avian species, such as the calla lilies, peace lilies, Easter lilies, tiger lilies-of-the-valley, and oriental lilies. When birds ingest lilies, their digestive system is gravely affected.
  • Castor bean – The castor bean plant contains glycosidase and ricin I & II, leading to extreme diarrhea and vomiting. If any of the avian species eat this kind of plant, they are more likely to die than survive.


  • Philodendron – Philodendron is an indoor houseplant rich in a toxin called oxalate. This plant is a common culprit for bird poisoning, especially for homeowners who have pet birds.


  • Daffodil – The bulb-forming daffodil is toxic for birds because this gorgeous flower contains lycorine. Every inch of the daffodil is harmful to the avian species. So this plant is not ideal for a garden or house with birds.


  • Christmas cherry – All parts of the Christmas cherry plant are poisonous to birds, including the unripened fruit, and roots.
  • This small shrub contains atropine-like alkaloids, saponins, and solanine. Once consumed, this plant can cause respiratory failure and even death to adorable passerine creatures.
  • Eggplant – Eggplants are nutritious for humans, but due to their atropine-like alkaloid and solanine content, they’re fatal to birds. This plant can get the avians super sick, including paralysis and seizures.


  • Mistletoe – Couples are fond of mistletoe during Christmas, but every part of this plant is poisonous to birds, particularly the holly berries. Mistletoe has two toxic substances: viscotoxin and viscumin, which can cause respiratory issues, diarrhea, vomiting, and death.


  • Potatoes – Potatoes are one of the favorite meals of humans. But the unripened skin, stem, bud, and leaves of potatoes contain atropine-like alkaloids and solanine. These substances are toxic to all avian species.


  • Tomatoes – The buds, leaves, and stems of the tomato plant are rich with atropine-like alkaloids and solanine. These are toxic to thousands of bird species, but the ripe tomatoes are good. So it’s not good to feed the feathered creatures with unripened tomatoes.


Household Dangers for Birds


You should also know that there some household chemicals are poisonous to birds

  • Spoilt scraps – It’s normal for people to have leftovers. But when they become spoiled, it’s never a good idea to feed the scraps to birds. They are toxic and fatal to any avian species.
  • Heavy Metal Items – Household items with heavy metals content are toxic to birds. These products are aluminum pans, kettles, pots, ceramic plates, and many more. Heavy metals have high toxicity, which is deadly to avians.
  • Pesticides and Insecticides Spray – Sprays that can eliminate insects and pests in your garden are actually toxic to the feathered species. Birds love to visit gardens, and they can get killed once they digest pesticides and insecticides.
  • Antifreeze – During the winter season, many homeowners accidentally poison birds with antifreeze. This coolant is made with ethylene glycol. When ingested by avians, its high toxicity kills birds instantly.
  • Old Paint Residue – Old paint carried the chemical lead, which is highly toxic to birds. If there is an old paint residue on any part of your property, then know that they are hazardous to the lives of your feathered friends.


Foods, plants, and household items that are harmless to humans can actually what kills birds instantly. And so, no matter how much you want to feed the avian species, it’s extremely important to have the right knowledge. Only feed birds with good foods and keep them away from household items that can harm them.

Also, if you want to attract various birds to your yard, remove all toxic plants to the avian species. And keep your pets away too.

Besides, you also can refer more to our other articles:

5/5 - (3 votes)

You May Also Like

what do cardinals eat in the winter

What Do Cardinals Eat in the Winter?

Northern America and the Caribbean are often home to the cardinals. These birds don’t migrate ...

place where birds live

Place Where Birds Live is an Aviary

An aviary is a place where birds live when not in the wild. It is ...

how many eggs does an-ostrich lay a year

How Many Eggs Does an Ostrich Lay a Year?

Many countries, such as Brazil, the USA, and China, support thousands of ostrich farms. Knowing ...

do birds eat frogs

Do Birds Eat Frogs?

Do birds eat frogs? The answer is yes! There are many things to know about ...

how to keep birds from nesting in wreaths

How to Keep Birds From Nesting in Wreaths?

The holiday season is here, which means the decorative wreath is now out and hanging ...

why do small birds chase big birds

Why Do Small Birds Chase Big Birds (Hawks)

Why do small birds chase big birds? The answer is to drive them away and ...