Why Do Birds Die On Their Back? (Explained!)

Birds are resilient animals and will often fight hard to stay alive. Over time, a bird’s health can start to decline and it will often show signs of deterioration (i.e. fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea).

This is when you will want to consult with a vet to learn more about the bird’s long-term health.

When a bird does pass away, it’s interesting to look at how they die. This includes asking, why do birds die on their back?

Birds die on their back due to their physical structure. Their weight distribution is towards the back of the body due to the wings. This can cause the bird to pass away and fall back to the ground.

It’s common for birds to die in this position as they lose strength in their body.

If you notice a bird in this position, it’s a serious medical emergency requiring urgent attention. The bird may not have passed away and you can still speak to a vet to see what’s going on. A bird can fall like this when it is seriously ill as well.

Here is a look at some of the reasons birds fall back when they die.

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Reasons Birds Fall Back When They Die

1. Weight Distribution

If you look at a bird’s body, you will begin to understand the science behind birds falling back when they die.

In general, a bird is going to have wings, which are located towards the back of the body. This includes extra girth that runs along the backside of the bird.

Due to this, it is common for most of the bird’s weight to be focused towards the back of its body. This is just natural genetics at play.

Experts Say...
The average bird has more than 50% of its weight to the back of the body and this can cause them to fall back upon death.

Due to how the body is shaped, the weight is going to lean back.

When a bird is alive, it will know how to balance itself and remain steady while standing or flying. This is not the same when they are losing strength and about to pass away.

If the bird loses energy, it will fall back to the ground.

why do birds die on their back

This is one of the reasons birds pass away depending upon how far they fall from. If they are on a high tree, the fall can become one of the reasons for their death.

This is why it’s important to keep an ailing bird safe in a smaller cage rather than having them out in the open.

2. Gravity

This is another scientific reason why birds fall back when they die.

In general, a bird is going to become a victim of gravity just like any other animal would. If the bird is perched off of the ground, gravity is going to be pushing down on them the entire time like any other animal.

When the body loses its energy, gravity wins.

This causes the body to fall back as soon as the energy goes.

Lots of birds are just victims to gravity as they lose strength in their body. This can cause them to fall back.

In a situation such as this bird owners are recommended to pay attention to where their bird is as soon as it falls ill.

You are better off keeping the bird safe by putting it in a smaller, safer space.

why do birds die on their back

3. General Positioning

Sometimes, a bird is going to be positioned in a manner where it will fall back.

This can assume there is a perch that has a wall in front of it and/or any other structure that prevents a bird from falling forward.

In these cases, the bird has no other way to fall and will eventually lean back as it dies.

Related Questions

1. Why Do Birds Lay On Their Back When They Die?

Birds will lay on their back when they die because their backs are flatter and most of their weight is tilted to the back of the body. This can cause birds to rest in this position when they pass away.

2. Do Birds Know When They Are About To Die?

Birds do know when they are about to die when dealing with a lingering ailment. This can be seen through changes in behavior including flying away from their family to avoid becoming a liability.

Final Thoughts

Why do birds die on their back?

Birds will often die on their back because their bodies are designed to have more weight towards the back. This can cause them to fall back if they are on a perch.

It is also common for birds to have a flatter back, which is easier for them to rest on when they are ill or about to pass away.

Read more on birds:

  1. Giving Coffee To Birds
  2. Birds That End Up Mating With Siblings
  3. Birds That Clean Their Nests
  4. World-Class Binoculars For Bird Watching
  5. Benefits Of A Good Bird Harness