Failure to Migrate
This morning four male and six female plumaged Cassin's Finches were still
hanging around my feeders munching black oil sunflower seeds. Off and on
since April 21, they have been hanging around, presumably the same birds.
A short time ago, I glanced out to see loose feathers, a larger bird and a
grayish headless bird wrapped up in the larger's talons. It took a few
seconds to realize that the larger bird was an American Kestrel. Realizing it was
being watched, the Kestrel lifted off with just a bit of difficulty.
Checking the scene, I could find scattered feathers tipped in red. Though
the head was missing, I did find the two sections of the bill. The upper
mandible is fairly straight and 11 mm in length...from between the nasal openings
to the tip. As I have never watched an entire episode of any of the CSI TV
shows, I can lack the expertise for conclusive documentation and can only
humbly offer up a guess at the identity of the deceased Carpodacus finch. Until
corrected, I am going with a male Cassin's Finch.
To paraphrase one of my favorite Paul Newman movies from the sixties, "What
we have here...is a failure to migrate." Being a pretty bird is not always
rosy...the Kestrel dealt our star a Cruel Hand indeed.
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