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DVOC Main Page > Birding the Delaware Valley Region > Found A Dead Bird?
What to do if you find a dead bird?
In the course of our bird watching we often come across road-killed
or window-killed birds. The Academy
of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (ANSP) is very interested in obtaining
these specimens for their systematic collection. The ANSP has all the appropriate
state and federal permits to legally obtain these specimens and you would be
covered under these permits while holding the birds for transport to the museum.
If you find a freshly killed bird (even a common one!) try to get the bird in some sort of bag (Ziploc bags are perfect) and in a cool (preferably frozen) place as soon as possible. Carefully record the date you found the specimen and a specific locality (State, County, city, address/intersection/mile marker). Keep the bird frozen until you can get it to the Academy. Getting birds into freezers just before or after DVOC meetings seems to be a great way to easily get birds to the museum. Call the Ornithology Department if you have questions or concerns: 215-299-1125.
Does it have a band on it?
Sometimes a metal or plastic band has been placed on the bird’s
leg or (as in geese and swans) as a neck collar. This information is vital in
determining the migratory path that a certain bird has taken and its age, and
for tracking population status of endangered or threatened species. Please record
the band numbers; color combination if any; which leg the band was on; the date,
time and location of your find along with its condition, and report it to the
Bird Banding Lab (http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl/
or 1-800-327-BAND (2263). They will contact you with details as to where the
bird was original banded. If the bird is a Peregrine Falcon, please also send
this information to Art McMorris, Peregrine
Please bring this information, with the specimen, to the Academy as it is vital to retain with the specimen.
What should I do if I cannot collect the bird?
If it is not possible to collect or salvage the specimen,
and you believe that the bird is a species of special interest (such as a Peregrine
Falcon), taking photographs of the bird in several different positions would
be very useful. These can then be sent to the Ornithology
Department ANSP or in the case of Peregrine Falcons to Art