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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Monday, November 29, 2010

You tell me


It was the day before Thanksgiving.

While cutting firewood I had stumbled upon the other three screech owl boxes I had lovingly built, and I started to wonder about the fourth one.

I hadn't checked on it since I hung it up, and this was the condition I found it in.

Would anyone care to reconstruct the story for me based on the visible evidence?

17 comments:

tai haku said...

bear?

Camera Trap Codger said...

Okay, but why?

Oggie said...

My guess is that bees were using the nest box and and a bear ripped it open to get at the honey and larvae.

brdpics said...

Dude- that's a drag!

I know some Colorado folks who have had bears go down their whole line of bluebird houses ripping them down for eggs/nestlings. Wonder if that bear had success and just shredded it to see what was inside? I guess bears gotta be bears- maybe you need spike-armored owl boxes!!

jason said...

Kind of beside the point, but do the owls use those boxes?

Mr. Smiley said...

Local toughs, probably raccoons just being nosy.

Camera Trap Codger said...

Okay, we're in agreement about bears. Our raccoons aren't that powerful (Ozzie coons are, apparently).

No evidence of bees in the box. but does anyone notice a clue as to the former occupant?

John Rentz said...

Chris,

You didn't use "gorilla glue".

deadmike said...

Maybe there was a squirrel inside. It looks like the entrance hole was modified by squirrels.

randomtruth said...

Bear and woodrat?

Kirk said...

No bear, just a very strong owl wanting out?

Ok, it does look like a squirrel had been doing some gnawing on the inside.

Camera Trap Codger said...

Kirk got the clue. While there might have been bees in the box, the gnawed steps on the inside front panel are probably squirrel's work. I suspect there was a nest of squirrels inside, and the passing bear picked up the scent, climbed the tree, tore open the front of the box and scooped out the nest and squirrelettes. The adult might have bailed out sometime during the trashing of the box, so the bear might have only eaten appetizers.

owlman said...

Hey Codge any clues on the tree trunk such as bear claw marks?
If not maybe it was a raccoon?

Camera Trap Codger said...

I know raccoons are strong, but I don't think they have the weight/leverage/power to tear the front off and rip the stapled sheet metal loose at the same time. But if they were ozzie raccoons, well . . .

JK said...

I was really hoping it was going to be California's second Wolverine.

Camera Trap Codger said...

Not this time, JK, but anything can happen when you're camera trappin'.

owlman said...

Chris
Now I'm humming to the words
"anything can happen when you're camera trappin." Need to come up with the tune.