Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas Means Carnage!

(Yes, I DID watch "Babe" this last week. How did you know?)

Okay, it wasn't on Christmas, but during my vacation last week. We have several bird and squirrel feeders in our back yard, and we're getting quite a variety of birds dropping by, including a small hawk or kestrel or something like that. Usually it just sits on the fence and behaves itself.

Last week it dropped by and sat a little closer to the house on one of our rock planter beds. We got out the binoculars and took advantage of the closer look. Then I noticed it had brought along some food. It took me a little while to figure out what it was. It didn't look much like what it once was anymore.

That turned my wife off immediately, and she scared it off. Fortunately it took its dinner with it. (Oh now look, Zazu! You made me lose my lunch!)

I went out later to clean up the area a bit, thinking the feathers would be a gruesome reminder my wife could do without when she went outside later to refill the feeders. There were a lot of feathers, and a few other surprising bits that I won't mention. Let's just say that today's title is apt enough, and I no longer disagree with my wife's declaration that it can do its feeding somewhere else. My "Respect For Nature" does not include turning my planter bed into a sacrificial alter.

It was a very striking, handsome bird, nonetheless. We'd be more than happy to admire it any time it wants to drop by. Just eat before you come, eh?


Dan said...

We have kestrels over here all the time. I am glad to have them as they prefer mice. Since JarJar went to kitty heaven, we have been hoping someone would take up the slack. Looks like the kestrels are doing it for us. Pretty bird.
We had a few owls here this summer. COuldn't get a good enough look to discover what kind of owl - it's dark out there.

Annette said...

I had to change bird feeders last week after I saw a big fat rat eating out of our open feeder. I'm used to the squirrels doing it, but I draw the line at rats.

Bird seed does make good bait for catching rats, although I was afraid we were going to catch one of the brave little birds who kept hopping into the cage trap to pick at the seed.

The new feeder doesn't keep the squirrels out, but they do have to do a rather entertaining contortionist act to get anything out of the feeder, so I figure they pay for what they eat in entertainment value.