Early spring buffet

Posted April 2nd, 2010 by kcorliss. Comments Off on Early spring buffet.

WARNING: Not for the squeamish

With the pair of peregrine falcons appearing on our sign in downtown Fargo with relative frequency lately, I thought I’d make the hike up to the rooftop and see what the predators have been eating. Or at least caching for later dining.

In a way, a person could actually track the spring arrival times of some migrants by inventorying the falcon-killed birds. Kinda cool.

There were only four birds present, one rock pigeon:

Two killdeer (like this one):

And the sort-of surprise, an American woodcock. No one’s reported seeing one yet in North Dakota this year. Granted they are secretive and hard to find. Still, this represents the year’s first as far as I know:

I’ve noticed one glaring characteristic after all these years of finding these falcon kills. That is, they eat the heads first thing. Most of the rest of the bird carcasses are “stored” on rooftops for eating later. I doubt a single bird would be doing this caching thing. I believe it to be a pair’s strategy for ensuring a food supply for either the roosting adult or the young birds after hatching.

“Life in the wild is seldom mild,” as a friend of mine is wont to say.

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