Depredated bird

The mortal remains of a bird, spotted on the edge of the Lake Park woods:

Depredated bird

Steven and I speculate that it might have been a Junco, although neither of us is enough of an expert to identify a bird from the feathers, unless they’re particularly distinctive.

I am also not expert enough to recognize what the predator may have been. One always suspects cats in a case like this, but I have seen hawks flying over this very spot. Last spring I even saw a coyote just a few hundred feet from here, and a coyote would certainly be happy to make a meal of a bird if it could catch it.

Many years ago, my dad drew my attention to just such a spot—and then to another, similar spot nearby. My dad suggested that the first spot was the site where the bird was caught and killed, and then the second spot was where it had been consumed by a predator who wanted to eat his meal in a more secure location. I remember my dad identifying that behavior (moving the prey before eating it) as particularly common for some particular predator, but I’ve forgotten what it was.

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