The mystery solved!

 

In the fall I collect road kill…..ah yes, road kill. I think the neighbors think I am crazy. My wife slides under the dash when I stop to pick up some poor creature that has met his demise by some speeding vehicle when crossing the road. Now the cat is out of the bag I will tell ya why. I process these creatures for their fur which is to be used for tying fishing flies. I mainly process squirrel tails so the carcass of said animal usually ends up in the field behind the house but on occasions there might be a mink, fox or some turkey parts when opportunity knocks. Now to the mystery, I have noticed on many occasions that these said carcasses disappear before they end up smelling but I never could catch what was procuring these tasty morsels.

About a week ago we had a skunk digging holes in my yard. He was one difficult bugger to catch but one evening I caught him ripping the sod in search for grubs in my yard and to that he succumbed to a lead pill. Not wanting to aggravate the situation I decided to leave him until the next morning before performing the burial service he so deserved. Next morning he is GONE! Oh boy, I know he didn’t leave on his own power but I just couldn’t figure out what would want to dine on a skunk?? Now it was 4 days later and as I was coming home from town, opportunity knocked again and this time it was a huge black squirrel so I tossed him on the running board and drove home. This time after removing his tail, I placed the carcass just behind the back garden to monitor what predator might be dining on these offerings and today I was rewarded with the picture attached………

 

Mystery Solved……

The one on the left taking flight with the squirrel carcass in its talons is a Red Tailed Hawk and the two others are Vultures, there were also another 4-5 Vultures in the air circling.

Hawk and Vulture

 

This is just before the Hawk took flight, the carcass was in the yard about 10 feet from where the hawk is, and he jumped 3-4 times to get his prize in the tall grass just before the vultures landed.

 


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2 thoughts on “

  1. Great tale. No pun intended. Even luckier photo. Do I see that the vultures had their prize scooped away from them by a Red Tail? I don’t think of Red Tail as eating already dead animals but, I guess your photo would suggest otherwise. When i was on a trip in Yellowstone my image of the Bald Eagle was somewhat tarnished when I saw them lining up with the coyotes and vultures to dine on the remains of an Elk after a wolf kill. So why not Red Tails?

    What I don’t understand is the skunk at night. Are you suggesting these guys are nocturnal? Perhaps you were working bankers hours that day and they simply scooped it before your coffee?.

    • Over the last 2 years I have had 4 skunks invade my yard, all of which took up residence under my shed. The only time I could catch them was well after sunset and as late as 1 am. As for nocturnal??? dunno, don’t believe they are, they seemed to be here but then I was in the yard until dark most every day, just have a hard time sitting inside when the weather is nice. The damage they did to my yard warranted action let alone the smell that was associated with there presence.
      As for the Hawk, I was surprised to see him carrying off a squirrel carcass that had laid there for 2 days but it happened, he was on it as the vultures circled and landed. I took 2 pic’s with my phone first but was unable to get a good photo so I ran back into the house, grabbed my wife’s camera and managed to snap 3 more pic’s before the entire scene ended, in retrospect should have taken a video. I was surprised the amount of time they were on the ground…….The funny thing is at the time this happened I had thought about the carcass sitting there after 2 days of rain and was going to go out and remove it, I looked out the window and it was unfolding….

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