Jump to content
Whatbird Community

ID this falcon's lunch? CONTENT WARNING: blood & guts


Recommended Posts

Photos contain blood!

I was on a beach in the Boston Harbor (Massachusetts) on Sunday (the 21st), and I saw a peregrine falcon land with its catch and spend 10-15 minutes eating. My first time seeing a peregrine so it was awesome to watch. After the falcon left, I headed over to the crime scene. Pretty much nothing was left but some blood and feathers. My morbid curiosity makes me wonder if it's possible to ID a bird from these scant remnants.

I didn't get exact measurements but I estimate the longer feathers (flight feathers?) were 3-4 inches, and the shorter feathers around 1/2 an inch. Based on the size I suspect it's a small songbird. I saw snow buntings and house sparrows that day, but other passerines are possible. It's also a beach so gulls and ducks were present.

Thanks for answering my rather macabre question! As a relatively inexperienced birder this forum looks like it'll be a helpful place.

 

IMG_20210221_114724.jpg

IMG_20210221_114805.jpg

MVIMG_20210221_114721.jpg

MVIMG_20210221_114718.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Phalarope713 said:

This isn't identifiable to species unfortunately. 

Why not? Feathers can often be identified, although it requires somewhat different knowledge/skill/experience than identifying live birds. One aspect of my job is performing fatality surveys for dead birds and bats - lots of identifying feather spots

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

The few remaining flight feathers look like the ones I've found next to Northern Mockingbird carcasses.

The body feathers a clearly dove/pigeon (lots of down, broad rachis relative to feather size) - and most of the body feathers are too dark for a Mockingbird anyway.

Its almost certainly Rock Pigeon

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your answers and the warm welcome, everyone! I figured ID'ing from feathers is outside the usual purview of this forum and birding in general, so I really appreciate everyone for helping out. Although I gotta agree with you, @MichaelLong, it's definitely DEAD! 😆

@Aidan B : Thanks for the welcome! I agree, beautiful bird and I can't wait to see more. Birds of prey always have the most interesting behaviors as well.

18 hours ago, AlexHenry said:

The body feathers a clearly dove/pigeon (lots of down, broad rachis relative to feather size) - and most of the body feathers are too dark for a Mockingbird anyway.

Its almost certainly Rock Pigeon

Thank you, @AlexHenry! I don't know why I didn't think about a pigeon (sorry @Pigeon 😢). The body and flight feathers are probably too large for a small songbird, I suppose? I spent a while staring at photos of House Sparrow & Snow Bunting feathers on Featherbase, but it didn't seem to fit... But again, I don't know much about feathers and it seems a tricky subject to make uneducated guesses about. That aspect of your job sounds cool - wouldn't mind hearing a little more about what to look for when ID'ing dead birds, if you don't mind, of course. 😊

Since I'm so new to this, everything about bird morphology and behavior is fascinating to me. I love that there are so many experienced birders and even researchers on this forum. I probably won't post much (cell phone camera is really only good for taking pics of dead birds...) but I look forward to learning a lot from the people here! 😄

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...