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Discussion Starter #1
Last week I found a small decapitated finch in my backyard. Today I found 3 more, one was not decapitated. I have a bird feeder in the yard on a tree branch and other than annoying squirrels tampering with it I only see birds eating there (finch, cardinals, oriols, robins, and brown doves).

I think it may be the squirrels, but the squirrels would do that when there's no other food source and they do have plenty of bird seed to eat. This is the first year this has happened. We've spoken to the neighbors and no one else has found dead or decapitated birds.

There are raccoons and cats that scamper through the night around here. Anyone have any ideas?

No...it's not the dogs doing this!
 

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Racoons...........I use to have this chipmunk running around my yard and one day found it's parts.........really upset me.......I think racoons were the culprit........and they may be with your dead birds.
 

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Cats, racoons would most likely eat it.
 

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Ok, here's what I have found. When I find decapitated birds they are usually finches and sparrows. Small birds. I discovered about 10 years ago that the larger grackles or blackbirds as some people call them would kill the small birds to eliminate the competition for the food. I saw it happen and couldn't believe it. Starlings are the dark birds with white specks, they are not the guilty ones, it's the grackles, the shiny iridescent feathered birds. They are very aggressive and I often have to let my feeders run dry to get rid of them. Of course once I start feeding again they eventually find their way back but for a while it works. I also use a better food, safflower/safflower mix in my feeders as the junk birds don't like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have difficulty dealing with "dead" creatures, it just spooks me too much and I have to avoid the "area" until SU gets home to do the clean up. He will be traveling again a/o Monday, so maybe it's best I just let the feeder run dry until his return. I love the chirping of the birds as they feed but the later "finds" turn my tummy.

Poor birdies will have to "fly the coop" for a week.
 

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I too find dead things very abhorrent. But I have learned to get rid of them myself. When you live alone, you either cope or cower in your bedroom!
I have recently picked up a dead squirrel, a dead raccoon, a dead chipmunk, a dead bird. Ickk!!!! This is from someone that had never, ever picked up a dead anything, I don't think I had even killed a spider myself.
It was either pick them up or not ever let the dogs out ever again!
You should see me squealing and gagging while scooping the poor things. The neighbors get quite the show!
 

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We have a lot of hawks in our local community. We have seen the "nature" thing take place, and usually a headless victim is left behind.
 

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My initial guess would be cats. Raccoons are more likely to be active at night, when the small birds are asleep. Coopers or Sharp-shinned hawks would more than likely take the whole carcass away to feed their young. It is true that some grackles, wrens and others will kill other small birds, but I have seen it more in competition for nesting space. Blue birds and Tree Swallows are frequent victims of wrens.
 
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