Where do birds go when they die?

I was thinking about this as I walked the paddocks this morning

As I’ve done since a child, when I walked for miles too

There are thousands of birds in the sky

Huge flocks that circle



Yet only a few corpses on the ground

And never of natural causes

Like old age

I’ve seen the leftovers of fox and cat

Scattered feathers and scorched

After a collision with power line

Or car

I’ve seen birds that came to harm

But none that simply died of old age

Or that I’ve ever found

I like to think that perhaps when birds know they are dying

They keep flying

Higher and higher

Until they run out of oxygen

Or are burnt up by the outer layers of the earths atmosphere

As it circles

And turns

From that great height

They turn one last time

And witness back here

How very small we all are

The agriculture and farming


Mountain ranges



They give witness

Then close their eyes

And simply disintegrate

That would be a death worth the flight

A journey

Worth the fight

And then I wonder at my own mind

Having thoughts like these

Early on a Tuesday morning

I’m not sure when the appropriate time is to be thinking such things


I rather like that I do

On a random Tuesday

I hope I don’t lose my mind when I’m old

I would really miss it

*and there are others like me I know. Whose brains are always painting what drifts in on the ether.

I have a lovely friend we got to discussing whales. Whales have graveyards deep under the ocean – they return and die sinking through the water. All those bones.


A natural thing

A returning

In nature to nature

It is reassuring

Especially given the awful trip many humans endure at the end




I want to walk out into the bush and keep walking until I fall

Die like an animal burrowed near a comforting small tree

Don’t come looking for me

Or my bones

They’ll be comfortable

Walk on

12 thoughts on “Disintegration

  1. I never thought about where birds go when they die. You’re right about never finding the body of a bird who passed from old age. I think you are onto something. I was listening to an animated conversation birds were having the other day when I was out in the garden the other day and wondered what they were talking about. They certainly make a lot of noise.

    • There is a particular family of Aussie birds called Squakers, Lousy Jacks, Happy Jacks (all sorts of names) and they are so loud and obviously all conversing that I would love to know why they were saying. I love birds, always have.

    • As a child it was so natural asking past animal bones – I think half the fear comes from the way it is handled so clinically and artificially – it is for me anyway. I read a book about the sky burials I think it occurs in Nepal – it makes so much more sense then what we do. I have a bit of a morbid horror of being buried or cremated.

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