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Author Topic: What happens to birds when they die of old age?  (Read 8754 times)

pronk48

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What happens to birds when they die of old age?
« on: 17/07/2007 17:22:52 »
I am 40 something but I have never once seen a wild bird that has died,apparently,of old age.If I have seen a dead bird,the cause was obviously traffic related,flown into a window,or a victim of a predator.So what actually happens to birds when they do see out their full life?

Are they immediately scavenged,or in some cases cannibalised,(as are the weakest sometimes are at birth),to ensure the survival of their species?

There is a mythical elephants graveyard,whereby they just somehow disappear when they know that their time is up.Do birds have a similar kind of final resting place,that nobody really knows where they go,they just......go?

Thank you for any suggestions or theories.

another_someone

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What happens to birds when they die of old age?
« Reply #1 on: 17/07/2007 19:37:03 »
Very few wild animals die of old age.  I suspect that is humans did not live in their very protective societies, we would not die of old age either, but as we got older (probably in the 40-60 age range0 we would get slower, less able to run away from danger, and more vulnerable to disease.  This is what will happen to birds.

Full grown elephants are big enough to have no real predators that can bring them down, even when they are old - so they have a greater possibility of dying of old age (or at least, of infectious disease).

DoctorBeaver

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What happens to birds when they die of old age?
« Reply #2 on: 17/07/2007 19:45:23 »
I concur with George. Birds and all other wild animals will fall foul of predators, injury or disease (or, in too many cases, human poachers) long before old age could cause their demise.

kdlynn

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What happens to birds when they die of old age?
« Reply #3 on: 18/07/2007 09:15:25 »
i have seen 8 birds die of old age. we have very old cockatiels at work. the other birds stay as far away from it as possible. that's actually how we notice that one has died. it's sad really, but the birds are older than i am, so i guess it's about time for that sort of thing

another_someone

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What happens to birds when they die of old age?
« Reply #4 on: 18/07/2007 13:59:54 »
i have seen 8 birds die of old age. we have very old cockatiels at work. the other birds stay as far away from it as possible. that's actually how we notice that one has died. it's sad really, but the birds are older than i am, so i guess it's about time for that sort of thing

But these are in captivity - but very unlikely to happen in the wild.

kdlynn

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What happens to birds when they die of old age?
« Reply #5 on: 18/07/2007 15:35:31 »
right but he asked if they would be immediately scavenged and i thought that even though they're in captivity, their behavior may reflect those of wild birds at least somewhat

another_someone

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What happens to birds when they die of old age?
« Reply #6 on: 18/07/2007 16:33:12 »
right but he asked if they would be immediately scavenged and i thought that even though they're in captivity, their behavior may reflect those of wild birds at least somewhat

The question was why he did not see birds that had died of old age in the wild, and the primary answer is that very few do die of old age.

As for scavenging, I am not aware that cockatiels were scavengers (much less cannibals) - now if you had some hyenas in the cage with them, or maybe some vultures - then that would be a very different matter.

Bored chemist

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What happens to birds when they die of old age?
« Reply #7 on: 18/07/2007 19:32:49 »
In addition to the fact that the scavengers are very good at their job, there's another factor.
Most animals are rare- look on google earth and see if you can spot any. Even humans are relatively hard to spot except in big cities. It's not because we are hiding , it's just that the plannet is big. Most animals are smaller than us so they are even more likely to get overlooked simply because they die somewhere where nobody notices them.
There was a story I heard (perhaps an urban myth) about a car that was damaged by a bird that flew too high (or got caught in an updraft) froze to death and crashed down again.

 

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