Eagle Mountain residents baffled by dozens of dead birds falling from neighborhood trees

Mar 13, 2024, 7:27 AM | Updated: 12:26 pm

EAGLE MOUNTAIN — Residents are trying to figure out a mystery that keeps landing in their yards. Dozens of birds are falling dead from trees in Eagle Mountain, with no apparent rhyme or reason as to why.

Near the corner of Raven Way and Osprey Way, Kelly Mackert enjoys bird-watching in her backyard. A bird bath hangs from a pine tree, where from the thick of the branches, the songs of winged neighbors chirp every few minutes.

“There’s so many different kinds of birds,” she said, saying she’s seen eagles, hawks, finches, doves, starlings and sparrows.

But Mackert has not been impressed by the birds she’s been seeing the past couple of days. It appears that the small birds living in her two backyard trees are suddenly dying and dropping to the ground.

It made Mackert think something was wrong.

“It’s really strange, right? To see nine birds just dead in your backyard all at the same time,” she expressed.

Well, make that 10 dead birds. She discovered another one on Tuesday underneath one of her trees.

Kelly originally discovered nine dead birds in the span of 24 hours in her backyard (Photo: Kelly Mackert)

Several blocks up on Falcon Lane, Lacey Hatch’s husband has collected a dozen from their front yard tree in the past couple of days.

“He literally was just grabbing the branches and knocking them out,” Hatch explained. “You could just see them dead, plain as day. It was crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

For Hatch, it wasn’t just a perplexing sight. She also worried the birds were a hazard to pets and kids.

“It’s some kind of a horror story, like, is this a warning of some sort? What’s going on?” She asked. “But ultimately… are they being poisoned? What’s killing them? Because there’s no injury to them at all.”

The women said another neighbor discovered a dead bird in her yard, and that someone else said he found dead birds in the area as well.

Mackert called the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and said they told her to dispose of the birds.

The DWR told KSL TV the birds are starlings and that they are an invasive, non-native bird. Because of that, the DWR explained that it doesn’t manage them, and the birds aren’t under any protection.

The DWR said the birds are starlings, which aren’t managed or protected. (KSL TV)

Wildlife managers said it’s hard to say if this is some sort of disease or otherwise. The recommendation is to get rid of the dead bird bodies and to keep pets away from them.

DWR officials said they have received one report of the dead birds. Eagle Mountain city officials said they have received no reports or complaints of bird carcasses.

Mackert is now constantly on yard patrol.

“I don’t even want to stand under the tree, because I feel like something might fall on me,” she said, ducking under the tree branches and nervously looking up.

She threw away the birds she’s found so far and said she’s worried that her dogs could get into any more that drop down and get sick.

Mackert will keep bird-watching, for the wrong reasons.

“It’s sad,” she said. “It’s a lot to see that many dead birds.”

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Eagle Mountain residents baffled by dozens of dead birds falling from neighborhood trees