What's with all these feathers?

Discussion in 'Celebrate Biodiversity' started by wcutler, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    9,555
    Likes Received:
    1,562
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Did I miss an all-West-End pillow fight yesterday, or what is the story with all these feathers along English Bay? They stretch for maybe 200 meters, then stop for a bit, then start again for about the same distance, then stop abruptly. We had a lot of baby geese, but not THAT many, and same for herons. The closest heronry is about a kilometer and a bit away. One year I saw one eagle in trees near here, but that's a lot of damage for one or two eagles to do. The area is not strewn with carcasses, though I did find one up at the street, not all that close, and I can't tell what it is. Crow? heron?

    So I'm looking for the story. Pillow fight? Leftovers from a craft project? Or what birds? And why so many feathers all in one place? Gosling preening school?
    Feathers_EnglishBay_Cutler_20180621_165911.jpg Feathers_EnglishBay_Cutler_20180621_170634.jpg Feathers_EnglishBay_Cutler_20180621_170004.jpg Feathers_EnglishBay_Cutler_20180621_170016.jpg Feathers_EnglishBay_Cutler_20180621_170925.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,578
    Likes Received:
    418
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    It was a fairly breezy day so I'm guessing the feathers got blown up and they just happened to collect in those areas. Much of it probably came up from the beach.
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    11,043
    Likes Received:
    301
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    A mix of duck and gull feathers, perhaps also goose feathers; from adult birds, not the goslings. It is the time of year when they are moulting last year's old feathers and replacing them with new ones. Caught in the grass after blowing up from the water's edge where they likely gather to drop the old feathers.

    The dead bird is a Rock Dove (a.k.a. feral pigeon / street pigeon) - nothing very exciting! Looks like it was killed and eaten by a predator, as there's only the wings left. Peregrine Falcon is a good possibility for the diner.
     
  4. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    9,555
    Likes Received:
    1,562
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Thank you, Michael. It's nice to have the mystery explained.

    I would be very excited to see a Peregrine Falcon around here, at a beach next to one of North American's most highly populated square miles (or that's what was claimed 45 years ago - now it's just just one of the most expensive areas, though not particularly this square mile). Does anyone know - would there really be such a bird around here? I haven't seen an eagle in trees here at the beach in a long time, but they used to be around. Maybe that's the more likely culprit.
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    11,043
    Likes Received:
    301
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    Peregrine Falcons often nest on tall buildings (church spires, skyscrapers, etc.), they mimic cliffs well, and there's a plentiful supply of street pigeons for food. In Britain, urban Peregrines are doing well (they're safe), while in the countryside, they're doing very badly, due to illegal killing by game shooting interests - take a look through here :-((
     
    Daniel Mosquin and wcutler like this.
  6. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,586
    Likes Received:
    178
    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    Peregrine Falcons have been sighted all around the Vancouver area. The most recent nearby sighting that I found on eBird was at Jericho park on June 22.
     
    wcutler likes this.

Share This Page