Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

September 23, 2011

A "What the ?" moment...

Well, today is the first day of Autumn. But the signs of it's coming arrival have been apparent for weeks.

Today I had four Downy Woodpeckers in the Lilac Tree. All looked to be females, or maybe juvis... all lacking the red spot on the back of the head. I haven't seen much of the Downys this summer. So while some squawk at the end of summer; I am happy to see their return here.

But now to the reason for my blog today. It's a "What the ?" moment here in my yard. There really isn't much to tell but it is making me wonder about it. Basically I went outside to fill the bird feeders and clean the baths as I do everyday. And a check on one of the feeders had me find it to be rather covered in blood.

As you can see it's on the perch, and the front of the feeder too. And there is even more on the roof.

So, ya, it's a "What the ?" moment here. Was it a Hawk? Maybe a Kestrel? Snagging a bird off the feeder and perhaps the struggle continued as it carried the bird up to a branch above? Maybe it consumed the bird above the feeder? The Hawks have started hitting the backyard in recent weeks as the colder weather moves in.

Another thought is some mammal trying to get into the opening of the feeder from the top and cutting itself on the metal? But the corners of the lid are folded over to prevent such things. It's a smooth rounded edge. But even if it were the case, how much would this creature put up with to get into the feeder, going to the point of injuring itself, and continuing?

Maybe it is an injured animal? But once again, would a bleeding animal go to the trouble of climbing up to this feeder, which is on a pole about 5 feet up, to eat? Isn't eating the last thing on the mind of an injured animal?

I see no carnage below. No remains of any sort. There are Pigeon feathers about but there are ALWAYS Pigeon feathers about.

Yes, definitely a "What the ?" moment that I will ponder in quieter times today.


socurly said...

Hey Rob, I found a beheaded, half eaten grackle inside my feeder once. It opens from the top and its clear. Do raccoons ever climb up to your feeder?

Rob said...

Yeah, Raccoons make their way around my yard. Some feeders are on poles/hooks and a big fat Raccoon will bend the pole or just topple it right out of the ground the odd night.

I have a "Squirrel Proof" pole system that is good with all mammals. The feeders are 12+ feet above ground, with an umbrella to keep pole climbers from getting any higher up. So some of my feeders stay full longer.

I've had a number of grisly discoveries of my own over the years of backyard bird feeding. I made a photo album of some and posted it on Facebook. Some got quite upset at a few of the shots. But it's a part of nature. Others have realized it's not all great stuff for children and their young child may stumble upon something out there that you better be able to explain.