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What killed this hawk?
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Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
What killed this hawk? on 09/06/2012 18:55:01 MDT Print View

Found in the Wind River Range below the treeline last week. Any of you CSI types have opinions? Note the grey, white, and bright yellow feathers in his talons.

hawk 1

hawk 2

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: What killed this hawk? on 09/06/2012 19:04:33 MDT Print View

It ate a rodent that had been poisoned?

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Re: What killed this hawk? on 09/06/2012 19:08:53 MDT Print View

Hmm, maybe, but why did it have yellow feathers in it's talons? Any who's poisoning rodents in the Winds?

I'm thinking it was a bird fight that went wrong and he crashed into a tree or rock or something. Really not certain at all though. No visible trauma, but I didn't pick him up and check all around.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
falcon on 09/06/2012 19:51:55 MDT Print View

appears to be a Merlin, falcon not hawk :)

falcons mainly kill birds for a diet, hence the feathers in it's talon

I would say not poison as usually the talons become clutched and again birds make up the majority of their diet

bird appears healthy so it probably met a swift end- trauma from hitting a hard object or a hard object hitting it (larger falcon :))

pretty hard to tell from a pic, a little easier when in hand and you can necropsy it

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
It's a sharp-shinned hawk on 09/06/2012 19:51:57 MDT Print View

And there's no telling what killed it. I don't see any obvious signs of injury--if it's collided with something, there's usually a noticeably broken neck. It could've been poisoned if it fed on a poisoned carcass (our government and some other misguided folks put out poisoned bait for predators). Or maybe it just died of natural causes.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: It's a sharp-shinned hawk on 09/06/2012 19:56:34 MDT Print View

if it's a sharp-shinned hawk then it's even more likely it met it's demise hitting a hard object (tree) as they are forest hunters and are constantly dodging trees to get their prey

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: It's a sharp-shinned hawk on 09/06/2012 19:59:05 MDT Print View

Thanks Scott for the ID on the type of hawk. I'm not a birder, but this guy really got me interested. I hate to hear about poison being the culprit, but maybe you guys are right. Any clue on the type of bird that might have been wearing the yellow feathers? I didn't see anything up there with those colors.

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Falcon on 09/06/2012 20:06:12 MDT Print View

BPL's software only pulled up Scott's post about a sharp skinned hawk, but then I read the other posts which led me to pull up some google images of a Merlin Falcon. I have to say, it resembles the falcon a little more than the hawk to my untrained eye, but they are very similar. Still, the cause of death isn't really clear. I think he bonked into something, but who knows. Pretty unusual thing to see, anyway.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
yellow feathers on 09/06/2012 20:10:41 MDT Print View

possibly a species of warbler, a lot of them have yellow on them

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: yellow feathers on 09/06/2012 20:14:40 MDT Print View

Mike, you are a wealth of info. Thanks man.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: What killed this hawk? on 09/06/2012 20:15:39 MDT Print View

I'm surprised that we haven't seen any recipes that use hawk roadkill.

--B.G.--

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Food Network on 09/06/2012 20:24:24 MDT Print View

Yeah, Bob, unfortunately the altitude took my appetite away. And they had a fire ban. Otherwise I would have put my Bobby Flay skills to the test:)

Probably a little gamey, so I'm thinking I should have packed some bacon or pancetta to go with it. The broth would have gone nice in my Pack It Gourmet dinners.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: What killed this hawk? on 09/06/2012 20:27:34 MDT Print View

Since many BPLers are busy I thought I'd help them out and answer for them:

Ken Thompson - It's not really dead, it's just faking it so it doesn't have to come to my GGG.

David Thomas - You'd have to check the angle of its lay and divide by the square root of the distance to the nearest tree, the result times the difference between the mean and average temperatures for the last month at that spot to even begin guessing on how it died. If that little bit of math is too much, you've waded too deep into technical concepts.

jerry adams - The Rs killed it.

eric chan - Who cares about dead bird anyway, it's overpriced and only for yuppies.

Mike Reid - If it's a Scottish hawk then it's probably just drunk, not dead. Did you smell its breath?

Franco Darioli - Wow, that looks an awful lot like a Contrail without the apex guyline.

Dean Fellabaum/Rog Tallbloke - Man had something to do with it. Did not.

Doug Ide - Probably saw some poor BPLer wiping his butt with a pine cone and died laughing.

Hope this helps.

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Re: What killed this hawk? on 09/06/2012 20:30:31 MDT Print View

Doug, good thing I just put a diaper on. That's fantastic.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Re: What killed this hawk? on 09/06/2012 20:30:44 MDT Print View

Doug- you definitely have the pulse of this site-great stuff!

I hope some of those guys see it :)

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: What killed this hawk? on 09/06/2012 20:31:57 MDT Print View

(from the Monty Python dead parrot routine)

Owner: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn'it, ay? Beautiful plumage!

Mr. Praline: The plumage don't enter into it. It's stone dead.

--B.G.--

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: What killed this hawk? on 09/06/2012 20:43:07 MDT Print View

Doug - Ha ha ha

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Re: Re: Re: What killed this hawk? on 09/06/2012 20:43:41 MDT Print View

I kinda feel like that Monty Python guy with the dead bird.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vuW6tQ0218

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
What killed this hawk? on 09/06/2012 20:47:39 MDT Print View

by golly, there is a tent design in there.
That poor bird died for the cause , long live the bird .
Franco

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Hawk on 09/06/2012 21:19:06 MDT Print View

Now that I look at the pics more closely, I'm pretty sure it's a young Cooper's Hawk (the slightly larger cousin of sharp-shinned). In any event, it's not a merlin or any kind of falcon.

If you'd picked it up, you'd notice right away if it had flown into a tree because the neck would be obviously broken. Did you pick it iup? I sure would've (of course, I'm an ornithologist, so that's kind of my thing).

Edited by sschloss1 on 09/06/2012 21:30:58 MDT.