Caution: This post contains images of dead “things” AKA dead animals.

I think this “vole” is actually a shrew and the rodent in the featured image is a meadow vole. It’s a bit hard to tell when the animal has been flattened.

Most of us have driven by a deer carcass on the side of the road. Some of us might hang out around a deer carcass, hoping to snap a few photos of passing scavenger *guilty*.

Maybe we’ve hit a squirrel, or a bird, (maybe even a deer) with our cars. If you take a minute to think about how many dead wild animals you’ve seen this year, it’s probably more than you think.

I was scrolling through my Instagram feed earlier today and I was pretty surprised at how many of my posts included dead animals. The mourning doves above were found after last years big thaw. In fact, a few days later I found another one. (If you’re wondering about the fresh flowers in the middle of February, they were from a wedding.)

When I started nest monitoring two years ago, the amount of dead animals, particularly birds, that I come across increased exponentially.

Now is probably a good time to mention that I have a salvage permit from FWS and MD DNR. (That means, I collect dead birds for a local university.) That’s another, upcoming, blog post. So, the birds I find, if they’re not in bad shape, go to science!

Others like this Mourning Dove that had been struck by several cars, do not go to science. I transported this bird and begged my vet to euthanize it. Thankfully, they did.

Intervening on an animals’ behalf is important, especially if it means that it can have a humane death. In my opinion, the less suffering, the more humane. The Eastern Bumble Bee below for example…

I spend a lot of time in nature and when I am not outdoors, I’m indoors either writing about what I’ve experienced while outdoors, or researching what I experienced.

Whenever I come across something dead, I always want to know how it died and at the very least, I want to document it. Especially if it isn’t something obvious, like a window strike, car strike, or something else.

Predator-prey scenarios are interesting. Take for example, this garter snake. For some reason dropped by a hawk. Maybe it was dropped on accident by two hawks fighting over it? I’ve seen that before, so maybe.

Or this Common Grackle and…and…whatever it has in its mouth. A gift for me no doubt. ;)

I don’t know why documenting the dead things that I find is so important to me. But it is. An animal died, and we, as humans, as protectors of our ecosystem, should be aware, as much as we can be, when something no longer exists in our world.


Posted by:Animal Perspectives

Science writer with interest in the areas of ornithology and environmental science. With nearly a decade of experience as a technical writer and four years of experience as a science writer/blogger, AnimalPerspectives.Com was created with the belief that scientific information should be presented to the public in an easy to access format — information is for the many. O holds a B.A. and M.A. in world English literature and is currently earning an advanced degree in Environmental Biology. She maintains 71 bird nesting boxes for a local organic farm in Maryland, works with birds of prey at a raptor rehabilitation center, and birds daily. She is also an amateur nature photographer.

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