Send us birds

Have you found a dead bird of prey or failed eggs?

Birds of prey: the PBMS relies on members of the public to send in deceased birds of prey. If you find a dead bird of prey please contact us by telephone on 01524 595830 or email pbms@ceh.ac.uk. Full detail at bottom of page.

If you believe that the bird has been killed illegally, please contact the police and ask for the matter to be referred to a Wildlife Crime Officer.

Failed eggs: the PBMS can only accept addled and deserted eggs from licensed egg collectors. It is against the law to interfere with bird nests and remove an egg without a licence. Please see Eggs for more information.

On average we receive 400 birds and 200 eggs per year. Without your help, we would not be able to examine the effects of chemicals that exist in the environment on birds of prey (see graph below).

Numbers of different species of birds sent into the PMBS each year (* first 9 months of 2016).

This is what happens when you contact us:

  • We take your information over the phone or extract it from an email.
  • A member of the team sends you a box containing what you will need to ship the bird to us.
  • You receive the box, pack the bird and pop it in the post. The postage is already on the box.
  • We receive the bird and send you an acknowledgement by email.
  • Some time later that year, a post-mortem will be carried out and observations will be made including sex, age and maturity of the bird. The information collected will be entered onto a database.
  • A copy of this information will be sent to you with our gratitude for sending in the bird.
  • Samples of liver, kidney, muscle, brain, fat, bone and feather are stored in glass jars or bags in our tissue archive.
  • Each year a sub-set of samples are analysed in our purpose built, state of the art Centralised Analytical Chemistry Facility 
  • The results are examined along with results from other birds and the resultant data help us to establish long term trends in pesticide use and possible links to bird mortality.
  • The resulting information is published and informs Government policy.

If you are unable to collect the bird because you saw it on the motorway or a busy, dangerous road, please contact your local Highways Agency - they may be willing to collect the bird. Please do not endanger yourself to collect a dead bird of prey.

How can you help?

If you find a dead bird of prey telephone us (01524 595830) or email (pbms@ceh.ac.uk) and see the How to send us a dead bird page.