Seen any dead birds lately?

Share your observations and help researchers, conservationists, urban planners, policy makers, home owners and others learn how to reduce the threats to birds.

Participatory Science is for the Birds

As bird populations decline, it’s vitally important to know more about how, why, when, and where we can make changes to save birds.

Birds face many serious threats from avian flu to collisions, rodenticides, fishing nets, plastic ingestion, trampling, predators, and more. And when a bird dies, there are a lot of predators that will carry the bird away before anyone sees them. This makes tracking where and how birds die particularly complicated. 

On the other hand, people regularly take pictures of dead birds and post them on social media looking for an ID. So what if we could help gather these reports into a database? And what if birders who are out looking also reported dead birds?

This is the thinking behind the Bird Friendly Massachusetts project on iNaturalist.  Crowdsource reports of dead birds and make the data available to everyone from conservationists looking to reduce the use of pesticides or track climate change impacts, college campuses concerned that their new science library might be deadly to birds, and graduate students looking for causes of bird mortality in cities.  


iNaturalist is a great place to collaborate around making cities more friendly to wildlife.

If you are already an iNaturalist user…
Add an annotation to your observation indicating that the bird is dead. The observation will then automatically be added to the project.  We also encourage you to follow the project. (The annotation feature is only available on the website.)

If you are not an iNaturalist user... 
Please share your photo and data with us and we will upload it for you. Include the date, time, and locations, any notes, and your email if you’d to know it’s been added or receive updates or if you’d be willing to talk to a researcher if needed. We will credit you unless you prefer to remain anonymous.,

If you see an image online or on social media…
Kindly encourage the poster to share the photo and data with the project. You can also share the post with us @bostonbirdfest on Instagram and Facebook, and we can follow up if you prefer.

Thank you for being a community scientist!


The goal of this project is to review dead bird observations (and get to their cause, if possible), as well as to store data from community scientists on a mission to make Massachusetts more bird-friendly.

Created by: eholm – Sept. 29, 2023
Project admin: eholm

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iNaturalist is an online social network of people sharing biodiversity information to help each other learn about nature
It’s also a crowdsourced species identification system and an organism occurrence recording tool. You can use it to record your own observations, get help with identifications, collaborate with others to collect this kind of information for a common purpose, or access the observational data collected by iNaturalist users.

We plan to host a short online presentation during the summer on how to use iNaturalist for this effort and more about this project.

If you are signed up for our email, we’ll let you know. Thanks!

PHOTO: Dead Hermit Thrush, by (Creative Commons)

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