Forensic Birding

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Forensic Birding
From: "Evan Beaver" <>
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2006 11:40:58 +1000

Feathers were found in the front yard of a Lapstone property this morning
(mine). The owner of the feathers is presumably dead, as there were a lot of
feathers on the ground. I'm not quite sure on the ID, probably a Crested
Pigeon, as they've been around a bit lately, sitting on the ground and
generally distracted by the mating game. I'm not convinced though, as most
of the feathers are black with a light/white tip, maybe 30 of those, and a
lot of light downy feathers.

The perpetrator is where things get a little more interesting. I'd assumed
cat at first, but the only local cat I've seen is a 95 year old Siamese that
probably isn't even up to the task of a CP. Adding to the confusion is a big
bird poo at the scene, maybe 8cm in diameter, very thick and chalky with no
black bits, so I'm thinking owl. Adding to the confusion are some possum

So I have 3 possible scenarios:
1) The cat somehow overpowered the amarously distracted pigeon near dusk
(the feathers appeared overnight), tore it to bits and ate it. An owl then
sat in the branch just above the feathers and checked out the carnage. The
possum just pooed.

2) The owl took the pigeon while it was roosting at night. But I don't
believe that an owl would eat it's prey on the ground.

3)The possum accidentally killed the pigeon, mistaking it for a vegetable
from my garden. (unlikely)

I strongly suspect the first. I guess the deciding factor is whether or not
an owl would eat it's prey on the ground.


Evan Beaver
Lapstone, Blue Mountains, NSW
lat=-33.77, lon=150.64

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