As the holiday season rapidly approaches and we get busy with festivities, I am trying to get my "birding" fix in before work this week.
I revisited an area not far from home that I had chanced upon the sighting of 5 Long-eared Owls not too long ago. The whole park was quiet this morning, and the line of conifers I had previously found them were lacking birds. I scanned them with my bins a couple times to be sure and at one point I spotted a dead Deer Mouse draped over a branch. First thought, Saw-whet Owl stash. Those tiny Owls sometimes cannot finish a mouse in one meal and will hide the rest of it for the next day. A little more looking and I saw another dead mouse. And then a third! Okay, no way this is a Saw-whet stash. Owls are not hoarders.
I went in for a closer look with my own eyes since there were no birds (Owls) within to fear of disturbing and all the mice had broken backs due to a snap trap. So obviously someone has had the bright idea of bringing dead mice to the park. Why? Hoping to feed some Owls? Maybe this is where they keep them and are trying to launch the carcasses in the direction of a roosting Owl? In this day and age with some of the goofy people carrying cameras hunting wildlife, I can only make assumptions.
Whatever the reason is, it's pathetic!
Sad thing, this is not the first time I have stumbled upon such a sight. Two years ago there was a slightly popular Saw-whet Owl roost at another park and I discovered the same thing. The mice have no gaping holes from the talons of an Owl. None of them have been eaten to any degree either. Just full bodied dead things with crushed spines.
I've left them in the trees. I figure they will remain there and hopefully the individual will realize this idea is a waste of time. It's a totally sad visual even if most see mice as disease carrying vermin.
I saw very little bird activity of any kind this morning, only this WTF sighting. I guess I will have to get out there again... some where else. But this outing still had meaning, a reminder that there are a lot of dumb selfish and/or strange people walking the trails.
Here is one of the Long-ears that once chose this spot to roost in. I doubt they will return. I know I ruined the photo with my little scribe through the Owl...
Lastly... for Tracy. I replied to the comment you left in my last blog. Thanks for reading and commenting! :D