Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Back Yard Crime Scene

Last night the bard owls were serenading us from the tree tops. Hoots, hollers, and screams can be disturbing if you don't know what you're hearing. I couldn't see them, but my guess was that it was a new family out for a night of hunting lessons. It's that time of year when the owlets are big enough to learn the lessons they need to survive.

This morning I woke up to a crime scene in the back yard. It would be easy to assume that the victim was killed by the above bard owls. Probably not. Looks like the victim was a mourning dove, and most likely, the culprit was a Cooper's hawk who favors small birds for their meals.  Owls prefer bunnies and rodents.

This is only an educated guess, because I didn't witness the event. Is it really a crime? The hawk most likely has a family to feed, too, and was just doing what Cooper's hawks do.  The drama of nature is never very far away.

On a lighter note, the Virginia bluebells are blooming. I'm sure spring has really arrived now...


Tom Cochrun said...

What a great crime scene to work! Up here on our ridge
we have periodic arial wars between red tail or red shoulder hawks and the ravens-though some say they are crows. I've spotted a couple of great horned owls, but as you know, they do their work at night. They have extraordinary strength.

Larry D. Sweazy said...

The wars between the two hawk species would be cool to see. I bet birding in your area is amazing.

I do some volunteer work for a local bird rehabber, and have had the experience, more than once, of moving a great horned owl, and I have had those talons grip my (leather-gloved) fingers with full strength. They are amazing.