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Sunday, February 27, 2011


I think I have said before that my backyard is its own little ecosystem. It has many old growth trees. It has fruit, nut and pine trees. It has everything to sustain an ecosystem. Right before we got that huge winter storm around Ground Hog Day the squirrels were out very busily gathering nuts and dead fruit. I had never seen squirrels working so hard anywhere. They freaked out as much about the impending storm as people did. I have often mentioned the abundance of rabbit poo in the yard, which of course means we must have many rabbits, though I have never actually seen them yet. A neighbor told me she has seen a possum in the yard. Every morning we hear birds chirping happily.

On the down side, with every healthy ecosystem there are predators. Every so often I would find the carcass of a bird torn to pieces out in the yard. When I saw the first one it was a little gross, but it was old. I figured it was dragged in by a cat or something and never thought more of it.

A few weeks later I saw another one, this one was a fresh kill. Again, I assumed it was from a cat. I noticed that the dead bird was pretty large. It started freaking me out a bit. Then there was another and another, and these birds were ripped to shreds. I really started wondering if it was just a cat, or something else. I even started to worry that there might be some creepy kids doing despicable things to these poor birds and throwing them in our yard. Or as my imagination swirled, maybe some very strange person putting a voodoo hex on our house, or some very angry ghost trying to scare us away. Blame it on too much time on my hands.

If you know what kind of bird this is please leave a comment
The other evening Kahlen and I were taking Bazinga out to do his stuff. It was right before dusk and the evening was setting in. I looked out into the yard and saw something moving. It was pretty good sized, at first glance I thought it might be that possum I'd been told about. It wasn't, it was a bird. A large bird, maybe a falcon and it had another bird that it had just caught. The other bird, (guessing by the remains) was either a blue jay or a pigeon. It was still alive, but wouldn't be for long.  I watched as the doomed bird struggled for its last gasps of life. Soon it was over.

All of this happened just yards from us. Kahlen and Bazinga were busily oblivious to the whole thing. I found it fascinating that a bird of prey chose our yard. We live in a rural area, but we are smack in the middle of town. A small town indeed, but still not where you expect Wild Kingdom to come to life. The most amazing thing was that he seemed to have no fear of us. I didn't share this sentiment, I didn't want him to think we were going to try to steal his kill, so we went in.

The next morning we all went out for our morning Bazinga poo time and our friend was back. He was retrieving what was left behind the night before. I took the dog and Kahlen back in the house and grabbed my camera. You can see the feathers and blood at his feet. Gruesome, but all part of the circle of life. And I'm pretty sure he doesn't know any voodoo.

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