Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: What happened here

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,080
    Real Name
    Wendy

    What happened here

    What happened here

    Hi everyone: I found this snow angel in the backyard first thing in the morning. In reality it was just a very light trace on fresh snow, but I PP'd it in order to get it to show up better.

    The wingspan is about a foot and there were no tracks leading up to it and no signs of a struggle or anything else around however it was snowing so it is possible that any traces were covered by the snow.

    I've never seen anything quite like it and I'm wondering what happened. My initial thoughts were that a small hawk or an owl had swooped down to capture prey, but then I thought it could not be that because I did not see any other tracks. The imprint is so clean it does not look like there was any other movement except what you see here. Hope there are some outdoor trackers here that can help me out. It was right outside the back door so I'm really curious to know what goes on out there at night.

    Wendy

  2. #2
    New Member ruralguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Rivers, Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    2
    Real Name
    Sean

    Re: What happened here

    That is the mark of a partridge or pheasant. When it goes to fly its wings hit the snow and leave its feather imprints and the center is its body. I see this all the time.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,080
    Real Name
    Wendy

    Re: What happened here

    Thanks Sean, Imagine that a partridge in my back yard. It certainly keeps well hidden. I'm still perplexed by the lack of other tracks. I guess it must have landed, hardly moved at all and then taken off again. does that make sense. The snow was very deep and soft, I doubt a bird this big would have been able to stay on top of the snow.

  4. #4
    Snarkbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Posts
    468
    Real Name
    Al

    Re: What happened here

    You're initial idea about an owl may be correct... it's about the right size. Owls hunt and attack by sonar - not echolocation like bats, but just passive sonar, and they're good enough at it to locate and successfully attack prey moving about under the snow (hence, no other tracks). A small rodent may have been under the snow and an owl attacked, leaving the snow angel at the point of the strike. Just a suggestion....

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,080
    Real Name
    Wendy

    Re: What happened here

    Thanks Al, what you say makes sense, and is perhaps more likely than a partridge or phesant in this part of town. I've seen Sparrow Hawks in the backyard, but never an owl. I will have to start watching more closely.

    Wendy

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South Devon, UK
    Posts
    11,263

    Re: What happened here

    If you know that Sparrow Hawks are in the area then that is quite possibly the answer.

    Caught a mouse hiding under the snow or dropped onto a small bird, grabbed it's meal and flew off. The tracks of the prey and predator were disturbed by that depression caused by a short struggle.

    Alternatively, a large bird could have briefly landed there then been disturbed and flew away in a hurry.

    Choose your preferred ending to the story

  7. #7
    Sonic4Spuds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Superior Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    252
    Real Name
    Will

    Re: What happened here

    If this picture was taken in Canada as appears likely by your description, I can't tell you exactly what species of bird it was. I can say it was predatory, and that it was after a small mammal under the snow. It may have been a raven a medium hawk or a small owl(maybe Barred). Hope this helps,

    -Sonic

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •