can birds die from sadness

Another example—last month Explore. org’s Osprey nest-side camera captured the deaths of two chicks that were one month old. The parents were spotted perched above their empty nest just moments after a Bald Eagle filched the nestlings. The mother appeared to be looking around and making soft sounds, possibly as a way to communicate with her missing chicks.

It’s difficult to picture what a mourning bird would resemble. However, if I had to guess, the video of two female Emperor Penguins huddled around a dead chick from the BBC series “Penguins-Spy in the Huddle” comes very, very close:

Still, to support her point, King points to Kohl and Harper, two domestic mulard ducks that were brought to a New York-based rescue sanctuary in 2006. Both suffered an awful liver disease that resulted from their rougher days of force-feedings at a foie gras farm. Over the following four years, the ailing duo cultivated a very close relationship. “Ducks are social birds, but even so, the intensity of their bond was unusual,” King wrote in Scientific American in 2013. Eventually, Kohl’s injuries got the best of him and he was euthanized. Harper was by his side. After Kohl passed, King writes, Harper kept pressing up against Kohl’s still body. Eventually he lay down and placed his own head and neck upon Kohl’s, resting in this somber position for some hours. Two months later, Harper passed away as well. When two animals share such closeness, King writes, “grief results from love lost.” Of course, King can’t determine the cause of poor Harper’s death. But it’s worth noting previous accounts of birds dying strangely after the loss of a close comrade: There was the duck that drowned itself after the death of its mate, as well as the young swan that committed the same act this year after discovering an older, lifeless swan—bystanders suspected it may have been the mother—floating in the lake.

Kaufman also recalls grisly experiments performed in the 1990s when scientists ousted one half of mated wild bird pairs just to witness the lonely result. The newly single bird often found a second mate quite readily, he says. In one Australian study, “I think the widowed bird had a new mate within half an hour.”

Also difficult to ignore are what appear to be roadside funerals held by members of the corvid family. Sometimes, when one crow is struck and killed by a passing car, a fleet of fellow crows (in the realm of a hundred individuals in some cases) descend from the trees and walk circles around the deceased for 15 to 20 minutes. The crow’s close black-and-white relative, the magpie, holds similar services—certain observations even reveal magpies placing clips of grass alongside the departed bird.

I’m so sorry about your little canary. Yes, extreme stress can cause a bird to die. It’s more about stress than fright. If the string had been caught for some time, she might have already been under stress. In order to breathe, birds must also be able to move their chest up and down. A bird may actually suffocate if you grasp it too tightly around the body. Additionally, they are not very good at handling heat, and they can easily become overheated under stress. It’s complicated, but it seems like the string had something to do with her passing.

FAQ

Can birds die of heartbreak?

Can a bird die of heartbreak? “It’s something we never thought was possible,” says Gisela Kaplan, a professor at the University of New England and the author of Bird Minds. “That an animal can grieve, let alone a bird.” And yet it appears they can.

What happens when a bird is sad?

Birds that are severely stressed or depressed may eat less and lose weight. because a decreased appetite can also be a sign of medical disease, birds whose appetites change should be thoroughly examined by a veterinarian to make sure they aren’t hiding an underlying illness.

Do birds die of loneliness?

Yes, a parakeet will die of loneliness if its basic social needs are not met. If someone is keeping a single parakeet as a pet and does not get a second one as a companion, the human will need to fill in otherwise, usually by being available to keep the bird company themselves for multiple hours per day.

Can birds get depressed and die?

Birds have such a high metabolism that any illness can result in a quick death which seems sudden. I’m not sure why you assume it was depression, but that isn’t the type thing that causes death in a bird. If they lose a mate or loved one, they can grieve, but they don’t die from grief.