Some days ago while looking at the tracks that made it into some of my previous posts, my wife Deneen and I flushed this Great Horned Owl out of a tree above us. As if flew to its new perch pictured here, the startled chickadees alarmed with their “chick o dee dee dee” call. The alarm raised was only brief. Deneen and I were hoping to see the big bird get mobbed by the little guys but it didn’t happen. At the bird language class we took at White Pine Programs we had learned that the littler raptors are more likely to get a mobbing response as they are the ones that routinely eat little birds.
Yesterday I did see a little bird predator in the shape of a Coopers hawk. It was perched in a tree that was a favorite roost for a flock of starlings. The starlings came by to occupy the tree but made a swift change in direction. My friend said it looked like people crossing to the other side of the street when an unsavory character appears in front of you.
I placed a smallish road killed deer in front of our game camera in a high wildlife traffic area. In this and posts to come I will document what animals came to investigate and feed off of the carcass. As you will see by looking at the dates and times on the bottom of the pictures it was there for a while before anything but birds actually ate from it. The coyote seemed particularly shy, maybe do the the flash of the camera. Evidently they all got used to it after a while.
Thats us carrying it out in front of cameras former position. It will be moved 20 yards or so into the woods from this position.
No disturbance the first night. Crows come the next day, eventually many of them every day.
Vultures come on day 2 and are present until 11 am. Nothing has visited on night 2.
The first night time visitor is on night 3 when a Raccoon shows up but does not feed from carcass. Some crows come around the following day, day 3.
On night 4 a shy Eastern Coyote comes by and from 11:06 to 11:10 moves in and out but does not feed from the carcass. We found this strange. I have read that coyotes become suspicious of bait placed by humans if they have experienced trapping but have know reason to believe there has ever been trapping in the area. The coyotes here, probably this very one, has eaten the suit I have put out in the past using my bare hands and must be familiar with my scent and humans in general. All this is taking place in a patchy rural and suburban landscape.
Day 4 a Red Tailed Hawk comes on the scene. I did not know them for scavengers but it comes at least twice on this day feeding.
Night 4, 2 Deer come. This made me feel bad.
Now things start getting interesting. Closer to dawn on night 4 our resident female Bobcat gives it a sniff but does not feed yet. In the next post you will see more of this animal and other large predators get down to business.