Who could be interested in the decomposing robin's body?

Discussion in 'Celebrate Biodiversity' started by Sundrop, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Several days ago I noticed a dead robin on my lawn. Had been thinking of disposing it, but day was passing after day and I didn't do that. Today when outside I realized something was missing. The dead robin was not there anymore!
    I am truly puzzled what kind of animal could be interested in the decomposing robin's body?
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Raccoons or skunks would be my top two guesses.
     
  3. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Daniel. Thankfully I don't have raccoons here, but skunks is definitely a possibility. What do you think, why would they like something like that, skinny, feathery and stinking?
    What are your other guesses?
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Fox
    Any Mustelidae species
    Almost any raptor species

    Carrion is easy protein that doesn't fight back - there's few animals that won't eat it if they have the opportunity, even animals that are normally herbivores.
     
  5. Charles Philip

    Charles Philip Active Member

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  6. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Cats, crows, possums.
    Dogs, even.
    Zoologist?

    Many years ago I knew a zealous zoologist who collected animals found dead, macerated the carcasses, and retained the skeletons for study. Perhaps an individual of similar bent removed your robin. Hey, it could happen!

    Sundrop, didn't a robin horde invade your garden a couple of years ago...?
     
  7. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everybody for your answers. Interesting, so many possibilities to choose from . . .

    Skunk? - yes, it is a possibility.
    Raccoons? - no, have never seen them here so far.
    Fox? - no, I don't think there are foxes in this area.
    Someone from the weasel family? - have never heard of them in my neck of the woods, but not entirely improbable.
    Birds of prey? - could be, but the robin's body was in a spot not that well visible from the air, between my house (about 1 to 1.5 meters from it) and a big Douglas Fir (about 0.5 m or less from the lowest branches).
    Opossums? - probably not, again, have never heard of them here.
    Cats or dogs? - not entirely impossible, but not very likely.
    Crows? – already considered under the birds of prey.
    Zoologist? – no, rather not, my place is fenced, so coming inside without my knowledge would be a kind of intrusion, trespassing ;-)

    So, most likely skunk, cats not excluded. But would they not consume the delicacy there and then, leaving a mess behind? The entire corpse simply disappeared, not even one feather was left. Real puzzle!

    Yes, thankfully it happened only once. Only a couple of permanent residents this year, as usual.
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Anything that wants to eat it is unlikely to want to stay close to the house for a long time. It'll nip in, grab it, and run (or fly) off with it to eat in a safer place, more distant from the house.
     
  9. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    That's a good point. Thanks.
     

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