Posts Tagged ‘Hunting’

Early Morning

October 26, 2009

There were four of them and they came at dawn.  The sun had just crested the rim far to the east and our coffee was gone. The male was domineering; discontented with his women who were dithering along behind him, vaguely flirting with two males of an alien species.  The night had been clear and cold, punctuated by Orion and his loyal hunting dog Sirius, silently stalking across the night sky. A small ravine behind us plunged off a cliff into a 4000-foot abyss and before us a small group of baby Aspen trees stood before an old, majestic Ponderosa Pine like kindergarten kids in front of a beloved teacher.  We were all there together in a house made of dawn.

But the male was not a poet and didn’t care about the beauty of the time. Skulking in the grass, he began making mild threats.  When that didn’t work, he flared his tail.  But even that wasn’t enough, so he marched out, right out into the open, demanding that they come.  And so, without a backward glance, they left us.

Grouchy Blue Grouse Male

Grouchy Blue Grouse Male

The Mighty Hunter

May 4, 2008

Hunters often return to the same place where they’ve had success before. Roadrunners are skilled hunters. We’ve discussed before Dan True and his movie of a roadrunner killing a rattlesnake. And we’ve shown you one eating a field mouse. Last time we showed you photos of him stalking in a bush in our backyard. As we’ve noted, we’re not sure how Chuck, our Greater Roadrunner, found the back yard and its bird feeders but he did. Yesterday, we didn’t see him in the bush. Neither did the House Finch which you see in today’s photos.

To a Roadrunner, a bird in the beak is worth two in the bush.

Because nature can be pretty raw, we are posting only the thumbnails. To see the photos at normal size, all you need do is click on the thumbnail.

In the first shot, Chuck has already caught the finch and is throwing it to the ground. The finch is probably already dead in this photo.

In this photo, Chuck is plucking his catch. Interestingly, he did not pick off all the feathers, as a falcon or hawk might, just the larger wing feathers.

Raodrunner plucking its kill

In this shot, he has finished plucking. We were wondering at this point whether he would take the finch home to his nestlings or dine on the bird himself.

Finch prepared for dinner

This photo was taken about one second before the finch was down the hatch. This was Chuck’s dinner.
Down the Hatch

Here we have a smug, self-satisfied bird. Note the size of his throat.
Full Crop

After such a fine meal, all the authorities consider it best to have a nice dust bath.

Roadrunner Dust Bath


We also have photos of Chuck eating a mouse.

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