Horrified to discover this crime scene when I stepped out to water the containers yesterday evening. My kneejerk reaction was to leap to the not entirely unreasonable assumption that the guilty culprit was next door’s cat and to hope fervently that the chicks could survive, even working out a scheme for the RSPB to save them.
Very relieved to confirm, as you can see, ‘mum’, or maybe ‘dad’, is fine, though s/he does look as though they all need a bigger dwelling. I’ve never seen both adults in this nest at the same time, so perhaps it has always been a single parent home? The chicks, just two, are getting quite big now but still look bedraggled.
On closer inspection of the crime scene, there is no blood and no carcass. This suggests that the culprit probably was not next door’s rather fat cat, which would be unlikely to have left only feathers. Even if it had dragged the carcass home, there would have been a trail of deeply incriminating evidence.
As I’ve mentioned previously, we live next to a meadow and sometimes various birds of prey fly over. I think one of those was the culprit.
I have seen kites and buzzards locally. Online research reveals kites go for carrion and small mammals but buzzards, being bigger, could have taken a pigeon. I am sad for the lost pigeon but glad it wasn’t a cat doing a cat thing. Maybe the heatwave killed off a lot of the small mammals? I shall pay closer attention to the skies over the next few days though I’ve never seen any raptors catching anything around here.