Tuesday, March 29, 2011

At The Scene Of The Crime

Earlier this morning I noticed something flopping around on the edge of our yard. Turns out it was a sub-adult Cooper's Hawk with a catch.

It flew to our Norway Spruce to avoid the marauding crows and stayed there for over an hour. It took more than 15 minutes for it to consume its breakfast and then it simply hunkered down and enjoyed the rest of the morning.

Surprised that it'd take 15 minutes to devour a tiny junco or chickadee, I did what any good investigator would do. I went to the scene of the crime:

Alas, turns out breakfast was a cardinal. A pretty nice size meal in all honesty! Although why it couldn't take one of the dozen starlings that have been hanging around... starlings must not be tasty.

If you take a wider look at the scene, you can see the hawk actually struggled to pin the cardinal (must've been what all the flopping was about):

During the investigation I checked out the spruce where it had been sitting. It left behind a nice poofy nest of feathers on top of a mat of boughs, and these soft little ones clinging to the end of a branch. All that remains of a cardinal...

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