Backyard predator
Outdoor Ontario

Backyard predator

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mr.sharp-photo

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Yesterday, I found a dead sparrow 5 feet from my feeder.  It was missing its head and otherwise had little damage to it.

Just wondering what may have killed it? Would it have been a cat or a bird of prey?

I haven't seen a bird of prey come close to our back yard. The closest I have are the blue jays that are nesting next door.

I'm both interested and concerned (if its a cat, I may have to petition the neighbours to not let their cats outdoor. yeah, that's going to go over well).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by mr.sharp-photo »


Soaring Hawk

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Sounds like a cat to me.  A Hawk would not rip off a head and leave it; it would pluck tons of feathers from it and usually start eating from a section of plucked area, like the abdomen or chest.

A cat would stalk the bird, pounce at it, and play with it (if it wasn't starving).   I have a cat and it has even caught a sparrow and cicadas from my apartment balcony!

Yes please inquire if it is an indoor/outdoor cat that is killing birds.  Millions of birds and small mammals die every year in North America due to house cats and feral cats.  It's a shame that hurts the local populations of wildlife.

-James
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Soaring Hawk »


mr.sharp-photo

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thanks for the reply.
as the owner of 2 cats that never are allowed outside, I find it really sad and irresponsible for people to let their "pets" roam free into neighbours' yards, across traffic-heavy streets and to fight with cats and racoons...and that's on top of killing 1-2 birds/day for "play"
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by mr.sharp-photo »


MEGHAN

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is it not possible it's a BOP?
Falcons do kill by biting the head off their prey; it's one of the ways that you tell that a dead bird has been killed by a falcon. ...
I don't expect you to get close and personal with the dead bird but a cat will play with anything for quite a while before it actually kills it.
It's never immediate even when the cat is hungry.
So if your bird looks knocked around and trashed up, it may very well be a cat.
A Falcon just rips off the head and drops the rest.
Racoons also eat birds but mostly livestock like chickens. They tear off the legs and head.
But they will take small birds. A raccoon typically attacks birds by biting the head or upper neck area. The heads of adult birds are usually bitten off and left some distance from the body. The crop and breast may be torn and chewed and the entrails eaten.
So again, your DB will be totally maimed.

I vote for a Falcon or similar. If the bird is well fed and there is no shortage of food then some BOP will take the head only and leave the rest.

My opinion only, many will disagree with me, but I wanted to add my 2 cents to this discussion.

Meghan
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by MEGHAN »
"Birds are a visual treat that reaffirms the joy and goodness of living. Birds are also the most elegant expression of life”.
Roger Tory Peterson


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GStuart

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I vote for "self-inflicted".

Clear-cut case of avian suicide if I've ever seen one.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by GStuart »


MEGHAN

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Ripping your own head off...what a way to go.
I don't think the bird seed Richard serves could be THAT bad.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by MEGHAN »
"Birds are a visual treat that reaffirms the joy and goodness of living. Birds are also the most elegant expression of life”.
Roger Tory Peterson


http://www.flickr.com/photos/luv2brd/