Report Death Pipes ⋆ Tucson Audubon Skip to content

Open Pipes Are Death Traps for Birds!

You can help prevent the needless deaths of birds and other wildlife. 

These dangers are all around!

Uncovered vertical pipes are dangerous to birds and other wildlife. While looking for a place to nest or hibernate, animals can fall into an open pipe and become trapped. Unable to escape, they eventually die. 

Bluebirds are the most likely victims, but many species are vulnerable to this threat. Other bird species commonly trapped include flycatchers, woodpeckers, sparrows, shrikes, kestrels, and even owls. In addition to birds, lizards, snakes, small mammals and insects have also been found inside pipes.

Have you seen “Death Pipes”?

Often called “Death Pipes”, vertical, open pipes are a hazard on the landscape and can cause the gruesome death of birds and other wildlife that become trapped and perish within. These pipes are often used as fence posts or to anchor a gate. They can also be used as sign posts, to mark a boundary, or a mining claim. Vent and irrigation pipes are also a danger if uncovered. 

Cover those Pipes!

If you find open, vertical pipes on your property, cover them to prevent trapping birds, lizards and other animals. Here are several ways that you can eliminate this threat:

  • Buy and install a pipe cap. We recommend metal fence caps that can be purchased at hardware stores or online. Plastic caps break down in our heat.
  • Cover the top with cement to create a cap. Stuff the top of the pipe tight with cardboard then top it with a layer of cement, ensuring to cover the lip of the pipe.
  • If you need water or air flow, cover the opening with screen or 1/2 inch hardware cloth and secure with a pipe clamp. Specialty screens available online for purchase.

Report Open Pipes

While enjoying public lands, be on the lookout for “death pipes.” Please report the exact location of these pipes using our online system. We will work with land owners and managers to cover pipes and prevent needless, horrible deaths of wildlife. You will be informed of these work days if you reported a pipe. 

Thank you! This project is made possible by the generous support from Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation.

By purchasing this license plate for your vehicle, a portion of the proceeds go to fund on-the-ground conservation projects in Arizona.

Eastern Azure Bluebird image by Lois Manowitz