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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.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dinner in the tall grass

[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.


DDeden said...

just wondering, ever camera trap underwater? know of anyone that does? I'm a member of Deeperblue.com, group of scuba/freedivers/spearfishers and underwater photography/video, but nothing there on stationary camera traps.

Camera Trap Codger said...

I've been thinking about it, Dude. But I don't want to spend big money on an underwater camera. Would rather build a housing of PVC and use a cam I already have. But first I have to find out if the PIR sensor works in water. I am going to test a cam on an aquarium soon, and will post the results. My goal is to shoot mammals underwater. I suspect yours is to shoot fish and marine life. Check out Alistair Frazer's website: http://kootenay-lake.ca/ for great camera trap pics, but especially his underwater shots of kokanee taken with an underwater camera. He set it for interval shooting and had to wait for fish to pass, but the pics are super.

Seagull Steve said...

Cool. I was just at SNWR over the weekend, saw several coots being eaten by red-tailed hawks and bald eagles, and the remains of many more. A very popular item on the menu out there!

Steve Bodio said...

That doesn't look very birdy, but any falconer will tell you of birds that hide their prey in cover-- especially Accipiters.

DDeden said...

I sure agree about Alistair's site, great photos and descriptions. I would have thought they were dive shots. Good articles on beach development and sand also.