"... We wrapped a robot in a dead sparrow and decided to see if we could fool the other sparrows into interacting with our creepy, ghoulish automaton! It's *science*!"
And of course, it was COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED that the grisly abomination stapled to a tree branch triggered aggressive reactions from the other sparrows. Because every living thing JUST LOVES to be confronted with a soulless golem wrapped in the dead flesh of another of its kind. And that never causes pants-shitting terror or anything.
I can see it now:
Sparrow 1: "OH MY GOD! IS THAT... *THING* ... WEARING FRANK'S FACE? IS IT?! FRANK??!?!"
Sparrow 2: "It's not him anymore. IT'S! ...NOT! ...HIM! IT'S A MACHINE! Help me destroy it! Be his egg-layer one last time!"
Sparrow 1: "*snf* OK... OK... oh God, Frank... God help me..."
Is there, like, a review board or anything? Maybe that could screen some horror flicks before writing checks for this kind of bullshit? "New rule: If your study is substantially similar to the plot of any one of this library of 100 horror movies, or if it has a plausible chance of producing similar outcomes, we're not going to fund it."