What to Do With a Dead Bird in Your Yard?


Written by

Clinton Atkins



George Dukes

what to do with a dead bird in your yard

We live on a planet surrounded by thousands of diverse birds. They are all beautiful, musical, and very enchanting. But as part of every living being’s life cycle, they can get sick or die.

So, what to do with a dead bird in your yard? It depends on the bird type and location, but you can either call for wildlife assistance or dispose of it yourself. Just be careful of handling and make sure to wear gloves and disinfect.

Keep reading for detailed steps for disposing of birds and safety tips.


All About Disposing of a Dead Bird


You have two options if you find a dead bird: either report it to the authorities in your area or decide to remove it yourself.

Most importantly, you must act quickly and dispose of the bird as soon as possible to prevent safety and health concerns.

If you have decided to dispose of the bird’s carcass (body) by yourself, prepare your gloves and plastic bag then follow these safety precautions:

Step 1: Assess the bird


Before you dispose of dead bird, first make sure that there are no signs of life. Inspect for any movement or breathing. Using a stick, gently toss the bird and watch for its reaction.

If you have confirmed that the bird is indeed dead, you can promptly examine its cause of death. Avians can die for many reasons: window collisions, predator attacks, or even bad weather, to name a few.

However, if you suspect the bird died from an illness or a gunshot, we recommend you call wildlife authorities and store the bird rather than dispose of it to obtain assistance.

Step 2: Wear your gloves

It cannot be more reiterated that your health is of the utmost concern. Never touch a dead bird, especially if you have open wounds.

Even though it is rare to get an illness from handling a bird, precaution is still necessary to avoid possible health issues.

So, how to pick up a dead bird without touching it?

A leak-proof or disposable gloves is preferred in handling our dead feathered friends. Just ensure that you wear it during the entire procedure and will not reuse it for other tasks.

Meanwhile, a plastic bag or a shovel would be an acceptable alternative when you do not have gloves nearby.

Step 3: Pick up the dead bird


While wearing your protective gloves and using a shovel or rake, transfer the bird into your plastic bag and be careful not to let it touch your skin or gloves.

If you used a plastic bag for handling the bird, put on at least two layers for extra protection. In order for the bird to wind up inside the bag, pick it up with your hands and flip the bag inside out.

Step 4: Seal the bag

After successfully putting the dead bird inside the bag, do not forget to tie both ends and seal it properly. It is ideal to wrap the bag with another bag or paper for additional protection.

Step 5: Put in the trash

The bag containing the dead bird should be placed in a covered garbage container. Doing this can ensure that it is out of reach for kids and animals like dogs and cats.

Step 6: Disinfect your tools and yard

All tools used, especially those with the contact of bird’s fluid, should be cleaned thoroughly.

Your clothes should be washed in hot water while your gloves and shoes can be submerged in a bleach solution for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can use a disinfectant spray like Lysol to clean your shoes.

On the other hand, you can use a regular home cleaner to clean contaminated surfaces. But if the mess is non-removable, like in soil, simply discard it to prevent bacterial growth.

Step 7: Wash your hands


At last, disposing of a dead bird ends with proper hand hygiene. Even if you have used gloves, washing your hands with soap and water or an alcohol sanitizer is essential to ensure your safety.



What does dead bird in yard meaning?

Finding dead birds in yard can mean a lot of things. For obvious reasons, they can be there due to death caused by humans or predators. But for some people, it can suggest a more profound message.

It is believed that a dead bird is a sign of a bad omen. But generally, it can indicate good or bad changes or transformations.

Meanwhile, a dead bird on the porch can be a voodoo thing. But don’t worry as it can also imply positive and negative ways. The most important thing is that you keep your inner peace and choose to see the good side.

Conversely, a dead crow in yard can be a symbol of a lost loved one. It hints for you to let go and carry on with your life. In comparison, a dead pigeon can mean peace but remains to have the most mysterious message.

Is burying a dead bird in my yard better than disposing of it?

Burying a bird might sound like a nice way of disposing of them, but it turns out that it is not a good option. This is due to the fact that predators have a keen sense of smell and have the possibility of digging out the bird.

When should I report a dead bird?

We have mentioned that a bird that was ill or was shot by a human is recommended to be reported by wildlife resource officers.

However, more circumstances need to be reported. For instance, if you find a dead hawk (a large and top predator bird) can mean an environmental issue.

In addition, birds that have tags, those that are not usual to the region, and multiple dead birds in yard should also be reported. In these scenarios, the authorities will instruct you on the next thing to do.

Can I keep a dead bird in my house?

It depends on the bird and your local laws. Most migratory birds are protected by the law and thus illegal to keep. But if you live in Ontario and want to keep the bird for educational purposes, they will require you to register with their authorities officially.

How long does it take a bird to decompose?

Small birds would likely be decomposed in no more than three days, while large birds would take as long as one week or more.

Can a dead bird in my yard cause diseases?

According to the CDC, dead bird in yard bird flu can rarely transmit diseases to humans. However, even if they are uncommon, direct contact with or direct exposure to ill birds or contaminated surfaces can still result in infection.

What diseases can you get from a dead bird?

Several diseases are spread by birds through feces, feathers, and nests. Common on the list is bacterial infections such as Salmonellosis, Histoplasmosis, and Psittacosis. At the same time, viral infections include Bird Flu, West Nile Virus, and Newcastle Disease.

These are transmitted via inhalation, ingestion, direct contact, and bites.

How to prevent diseases from a dead bird?

As always, professional help is advisable in order to limit the spread of diseases. Aside from wearing gloves when handling, dead bird removal services are also desirable in removing birds.

But other options are removing nests and food sources in your house or yard and cleaning up a plant and paper debris to deter birds and prevent further deaths nearby.


Encountering a dead bird can mean different things for different people. But one thing in common is that it’s a painful experience for us and the birds.

But as you read and learn what to do with a dead bird in your yard, we hope that it helped you determine what to do and figure out how to dispose of a dead bird in the utmost safe and accessible ways.

Birds are undeniably cute and irresistible, but always keep in mind that they can carry diseases, so always be careful and call wildlife assistance as needed.

5/5 - (3 votes)

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