Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Unusual and troubling pigeon death  (Read 3760 times)

Olly398

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Herts
    • Brixton's Bounty
Unusual and troubling pigeon death
« on: September 04, 2012, 08:30:06 am »
Went to let the chooks out of their house at about quarter to seven and discovered a very recently deceased (still warm) healthy, pretty young wood pigeon  ??? :'( . No time to do a PM but here's what I observed:
 
Unusual
It was lying face down on top of the light netting which covers, at head height, my 10 x 18 ft run (put there to thwart a would be flyer and also proving useful in arresting the Newtonian progress of bramleys).
It was oozing blood from beak and both eyes. It had suffered a single large puncture wound to the neck and crop area. Otherwise intact, no sign of struggle, one or two tiny feathers.
I surmise therefore that it was either:
- Killed on the wing or in a perch (tree overhangs the run, they roost there). But by what???
- Attacked on the ground, managed to get away and into its tree, than keeled over

Troubling
Whatever beast it was might take a fancy to my chooks...  :(

Wait, this just occured to me as I was writing...   some bugger could have taken a pot-shot with an air rifle...  but in my back garden, in suburban Grantham???!!!
I need to have another look at the body/wound tonight with a more critical eye.
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fairhaven

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Norfolk
    • The Hazy Rainbow
Re: Unusual and troubling pigeon death
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 08:37:58 am »
Was the puncture wound like a shot hole or just ripped flesh?  Could have been dropped by a sparrowhawk...  :thinking:  What birds of prey are out your way?
Sheep: North Ronaldsay & 4 Horned Hebridean - We also breed & exhibit 3 breeds of rabbit - Chinchilla, Deilenaar (rare breed) & Colour Pointed English Angora.

Olly398

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Herts
    • Brixton's Bounty
Re: Unusual and troubling pigeon death
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 09:17:10 am »
Yeah, that's possible. I thought it looked like ripped flesh but it was pretty uniform and round. Will have another look when I gets home.  8)

I haven't lived here long enough to have seen any birds of prey...
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 09:20:52 am by Olly398 »
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deepinthewoods

  • Guest
Re: Unusual and troubling pigeon death
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2012, 09:25:37 am »
you need to do a pm. i bet you find a pellet in there.

jonkil

  • Guest
Re: Unusual and troubling pigeon death
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2012, 09:28:38 am »
Likely it was dropped by a bird of prey.
Funny you should publish this, I witnessed a pigeon being taken by a hawk on Saturday past.. The pigeon flew past us about 6 feet from us and was taken mid air by a hawk. The hawk ripped its head off on the ground in seconds and flew off with the body, it proved the violence that nature holds but it was a great experience seeing it actually happening. Part of life (and death) in nature I guess.

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Unusual and troubling pigeon death
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2012, 09:56:08 am »
a regular small hole would make me think it was shot Tbh......be interesting to find out

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Unusual and troubling pigeon death
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2012, 10:21:56 am »
Have a look for both entry and exit wounds.  Even if you can't find a pellet, on an entry hole there will usually be some bits of feather in under the skin where the pellet dragged them in.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Unusual and troubling pigeon death
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2012, 10:25:02 am »
My money is on a bird of prey, a young one (unless there is a sneaky air-rifler about). Raptors that take other birds drop onto them with their talons open, and drive the 'heel' claw through the skin, making some serious puncture wounds, usually enough to shock/stun the prey. In this case it must have half caught it (or look for another wound further down the back).

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Unusual and troubling pigeon death
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2012, 05:58:31 pm »
I agree with Steve.

Could have been a young raptor not very well practised, or the pigeon was a bit on the big side for it and got dropped.

Olly398

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Herts
    • Brixton's Bounty
Re: Unusual and troubling pigeon death
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2012, 09:07:48 pm »
The verdict is in...   :popcorn:
 
 
Well I'm not James Herriot or Sherlock Holmes but I did enough of a "PM" to satisfy myself:
 
Hole circular in form but larger than I had remembered and definietly an irregular edge consistent with tearing. Some slight tearing/bruising marks adjacent to the hole edges. No "entry hole" and no other puncture marks evident. Significant haemorrage of blood  under / around crop, neck and one side of the breast. Crop full of last meal, but nothing recovered worthy of sending to ballistics  ;D .
 
Verdict - bird.  Well done all of you  :trophy:   8)
 
Final note of comfort: the creature did not die in vain  :yum:
 
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 09:12:23 pm by Olly398 »
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jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Unusual and troubling pigeon death
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2012, 07:13:19 am »
Ha, well done all round  :thumbsup:

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Unusual and troubling pigeon death
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2012, 09:41:49 pm »

Final note of comfort: the creature did not die in vain  :yum:
 

I'm sure it will have taken comfort from that.   :roflanim:   I found one in my garden in a similar state but still alive.  It was ringed so I asked a neighbour who has homing birds and it was one of his.  He had seen the sparrowhawk get it and assumed it was dead.  If it had been, my OH might have found out if he liked pigeon.  I don't.

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: Unusual and troubling pigeon death
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2012, 11:57:43 am »
we lost one, too, just found lots of feathers near the hen house.  I'm quite sad as it was feeding it's young in the hedge. I don't particuklarly like pigeons but do get attached to wildlife in my territory - except to foxes. I was almost ready to accuse neighbour's new giant of a cat until I read this post. Sparrowhawk it may well have been. :&>

 

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