Under Attack !!! ???

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Hanover Bill
Posts: 634
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Pennsylvania/Hanover Township
Martin Colony History: 2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72

Fledging is almost complete at my site and it has been a successful season aside from some losses due to inclement weather in early May. Over the years I have lost the occasional Martin to a hawk attack, but never anything more than one at a time. That all changed last night. On my morning walk around I noticed three piles of feathers directly under my gourd racks. There were no fleshy parts, just the feathers, so whatever got them must have consumed them on the spot. My feeling is that whatever it was must have plucked some unsuspecting fledges off of perch rods right before they went in for the night.

Any ideas out there on what I may be dealing with, Hawk, Owl, Raccoon? I am considering the Raccoon as a possibility to find one on the ground and consume it, but I doubt if three of them hit the ground at a similar time. The Hawk and Owl are the leading candidates.

Any ideas or suggestions will be appreciated. I will be standing close guard this evening. Will stay out there until it is completely dark.

Thanks;
Hanover Bill.
2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72
daveh
Posts: 710
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:40 am
Location: Kingsville Mo.

Owls at my colony hang on the 2x4 inch wire cage, shake the housing, and spook birds out, catching them as they struggle through the wire to escape. The owls always took there prey to the ground, under the housing to eat, leaving no flesh or meat but just feathers in a pile. I have both great horned and barred owls. For some reason, owls haven't been a problem this season. I see them but they must be eating something else like crawdads. I have lots of crawdads. After 10 years of fighting owl attacks its nice to be able to go to bed at a reasonable time. Some cooper attacks but pretty minimal.

Dave
PMCA member
Black Jack
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 4:37 pm
Location: NC

I would say a raccoon or 2. Sounds like work they do.
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