Hawk (or some bird)- Cameron

So Leah and I were bone hunting near my house, and after hours of being unsuccessful, we finally found something. Leah points to a dead bird. I look at it and there are no veins or organs, so I want to pick it up to look at it. Of course Leah only has one glove (typical of her) but I manage just fine


I took it home and after about an hour of Leah watching me and plucking some feathers and I plucked skin and feathers off, I manage to get this:


But unfortunately when I tried to bleach it (since it smelled so bad) the spine, ribs and a few other bones disintegrated, but I still had the leg bones and head!



5 comments on “Hawk (or some bird)- Cameron

  1. Psydrache says:

    That bird looks quite interesting but it isn’t a bird of prey. But nice find, bird skulls are always so special πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Julia,

    Your bird is an American Woodcock, nice find! You can compare your skull to the one on my website (www.skullsite.com) if you want to know whether it is complete.
    Next time you want to whiten a skeleton, do not use bleach but hydrogen peroxide (the stuff people use to get blond hair), that won’t harm the bone.
    By the way, the heron you found is an American Bittern, an even nicer find.

    • Wow thank you! Yeah I’ve been told not to use bleach and I’m not going to anymore, I already got a lot of hydrogen peroxide πŸ™‚ I’ve been on skullsite.com and its really cool! I love it. Thanks for looking at it!

  3. A note: assuming you live in the United States (which I’m guessing, since you said in a later post that you made a trip to the Field Museum in Chicago – I live just outside of Chicago myself, and visit there often), you need to be very, very careful about what sort of bird bones you collect. There are several federal laws that make it illegal to collect almost all bird bones whatsoever, and *especially* birds of prey (alas). The penalties for being caught with any sort of anything from birds (not just bones, but nests, eggshells, and even a single pretty feather you might find in your yard) can include thousands of dollars in fines and time spent in jail. Below are some links that detail these laws, and a list of what birds are protected and which can safely be collected. Generally, pet birds (parakeets, parrots, canaries, some pet shop finches) are okay to have things from, and certain game birds that can be killed by hunters (like pheasants or ducks), but even very common birds like city pigeons are off-limits.

    Common question: possession of migratory birds:

    Birders and federal laws:

    List of birds protected by the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA):

    Do you have eagle feathers?:

    I’d hate to see another collector – especially a minor – get in trouble for not knowing the law.


    • Wow, thank you Jennifer! I certainly wouldn’t want to get I trouble. The bird listed about that I thought was a hawk is actually some type of water bird. I have a pet parakeet but no intention of keeping the bones. I will check out the laws and see if any apply to my birds. Thank you again, Julia

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