I went out for a walk this afternoon to clear my head after a day of revision and editing. I hadn't journeyed further than our front path, however, when I discovered something truly macabre. There, lying in the sawdust where I've been bucking up a tree we felled last week, was a raven's bill. The lower mandable was located about a meter west of the upper, and there was nothing else of the carcass to be found. Not a single feather!
How does one explain that? The only mammals we've seen on the property so far are squirrels and deer, and I understand that the largest mammalian preditors we've got here are raccoons. We've seen birds of prey, but most of them are bald eagles and osprey, which tend to be piscivores. (Yes, I realize that bald eagles are opportunistic feeders and will sometimes scavenge.) Otherwise, I've seen Coopers Hawks, Northern Goshawks and a Great Horned Owl here on the island.
Journal of Natural Hist. Ed.
Natural History Institute
Center for Humans & Nature