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Methow At Home

Methow At Home Volunteers clean-up a member's yard
HomeKurt Snover The Peril Of Birds

The Perils of Birds

1) Dinnertime Mayhem

Recently while we were sitting out on the deck eating our dinner, a pair of California quail were running around in the yard.  The quail were on the ground near the edge of the deck less than 8 feet away when BAM, a raptor smashed into one of them and instantly flew off with it, leaving a large pile of feathers behind.  Immediately the other quail bolted to safety under the deck.  Total time for this whole event, less than 1 second, literally.  So fast we weren't able to identify the raptor.  

It left me stunned, and reeling.  Still stunned several days later.  Our birding friend Janet told us she thought it was probably a Cooper’s hawk.

2) Half a Dead Bunny

In late March while cross country skiing up near Thompson Pass, I came across a small raptor in the middle of the road on top of a snowshoe rabbit.  When I got close, the raptor, a juvenile goshawk, was trying to take off with the rabbit carcass and couldn't get airborne.  It would drag the carcass over and over, flapping its wings like mad, stopping to rest every 10 feet or so.  Finally it abandoned the carcass and flew off.  When I came back by later on, it was feeding on the carcass.  

When I got down near the car I ran into my grandson, 16 yr old Cory, and his dad, on their way up.  “Cory,” I said, “keep a lookout up near the Pass.  You might see some interesting bird activity.”  

Later when I asked Cory if he'd seen the raptor, he replied, somewhat dejectedly, ”No.  All I saw was half a dead bunny."

After hearing my story, a friend said to me, “Way to go, Grandpa.”


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