So, speaking of the dead young of our avian neighbors, one of our cats brought the body of a small bird into the house today. We’re not sure who it was, but the general hunterly evidence of late points to our nearly year-old boy cat, George.
Viv called out to me about it as was I was in the yard measuring our grill for some replacement parts. The tiny boy was on the floor of the dining area and Viv told me she had shooed Lark away from it. As I bent down to it, I at first took it for a sparrow, but then I noticed the long, curving beak and the elongated, barred tail-feathers. The baby, not yet ready to leave the nest, had been a juvenile flicker, one of my favorite neighborhood birds.
The body’s torso had yet to be feathered in any meaningful way, but the spotted head, wing feathers, and of course the beak and tail feathers were quite definitive. There was a not-terribly-bloody wound in the bird’s belly, but the corpse was other wise intact, not stiff, and quite cool to the touch. The pinkish-red of the little bird’s back and belly was distinct, as was the yellowish, knuckly look of the base of the bird’s torso from which sprouted those distinctive tail feathers.
I should have taken a couple of pictures, I suppose. I buried the not-quite-a-fledgling near Possum.