Birds can pick up poison accidentally by eating dressed seed or insects from freshly sprayed crops, or they can become victims of intentional poisoning, whether the poison bait was aimed at them or not.
What to do if you find a poisoned bird
Incidents of suspected poisoning should be reported to the Poisons Hotline on: 0800 321600.
This is administered by the Government-run Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme.
It is illegal to deliberately poison birds. If there is a suspicion that birds or any other wildlife have been specially targeted by the poison, please contact your Police Wildlife Crime Officer to report a crime against the Wildlife and Countryside Act, and report it to the RSPB using a crime reporting form.
Gulls or waterfowl can be found in the summer and autumn apparently paralysed and unable to lift their heads. This is likely to be due to botulism poisoning, a naturally occurring toxin produced by bacteria.
In incidents of large numbers of birds dying of suspected botulism, the RSPB, the local authority or the Environment Agency should be informed of the location and the number of birds involved.
Report a wildlife crime
Have you seen a crime against a wild bird? Use this form to report a wildlife crime to us.