[The leftovers of a coot dinner, Llano Seco, Butte County]
This was NOT a case of "death in the tall grass".
The remains were next to an access road along a dike next to a canal of flowing water.
I believe the coot was killed somewhere nearby. The predator plucked it and ate it here.
The predator is unknown.
It could have been a raccoon, possum, otter, or mink . . . or a coyote or bobcat.
I'm ruling out raptors, because I would expect them to drag the prey into the open or fly with it to a roost.
Llano Seco is one of the smaller components of the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex, but it's the nearest (33 miles) to our house.