Cold Case - Who Killed Roger Rabbit? (Graphic Image Warning)

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ozzy1977

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
8,558
2
44
Henley
hadt thought of a sparrow hawk, I hardly see anything other than buzzards around here. Would a owl do it, got barn, tawny and little all around.
 

JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,661
1,238
Stourton,UK
hadt thought of a sparrow hawk, I hardly see anything other than buzzards around here. Would a owl do it, got barn, tawny and little all around.

Removing the head is a typical Sparrowhawk trait. Owls eat their prey whole as a general rule and wouldn't take a pigeon out. Buzzards are big birds, so such a small morsel wouldn't be worth the effort of a kill. Spawks just love to nip the bonce off.
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,705
628
Mercia
I'm going for badger. Looks like a classic case to me. They turn their prey inside out just like that. I've found they do it with hedgehogs very well, almost like a human did it.

Now that seems plausible - there was badger latrine activity within 5 yards or so. Thanks Jon.
 

Bowlander

Full Member
Nov 28, 2011
1,352
0
Forest of Bowland
Removing the head is a typical Sparrowhawk trait. Owls eat their prey whole as a general rule and wouldn't take a pigeon out. Buzzards are big birds, so such a small morsel wouldn't be worth the effort of a kill. Spawks just love to nip the bonce off.

Peregrines prey quite often have no head, especially pigeons - knocked off on impact.

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Xparent Green Tapatalk 2
 
Couple of suggestions, first regarding the headless pigeon; sparrowhawks are not that good at catching prey of pigeon size, a bit big to be their normal prey, they certainly wouldn't have been able to carry the carcass away with them so it may have been an opportunistic sparrow hawk kill with the hawk being frightened off from the carcass before it tucked in. Birds of prey leave characteristic marks on the stalks of the feathers of their kills as they pluck them out to get at the meat it often mangles and bend and sometimes punctures the stem of the feather. there will also be conspicuous puncture wounds from where the talons puncture the carcass, buzzards and red kites aren't good enough hunters to take a pigeon unless it's a squab or injured to begin with, they tend to eat a lot of worms, beetles, carrion and some small rodents.

Regarding the rabbit remains, badger would be a good culprit I'd have thought but it must have been startled off it's meal to have left the hind quarters behind, badgers often leave neat little piles of innards behind, I think someone already mentioned hedgehogs which they will eat from underneath leaving a shell of spines a pile of intestines and sometimes feet. I have a couple of times found sign like this which was definitely fox and was caused by a fox pulling a rabbit out of a snare leaving part of the animal in the snare and taking the rest with it. Smaller mustelids (stoats and weasels for example) sometimes disembowel their prey but aren't big enough to be able to tear a rabbit in half like that.
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,705
628
Mercia
Certainly no snares on this land....I know - if there were they would be mine ;) Badger it is I think - it adds up. Oddly the second half went the following night - although I guess there is no knowing if that was the same creature
 

Firelite

Forager
Feb 25, 2010
188
1
bedfordshire
So, the moral of the story is, in cases like this if at all possible, set up a trail cam to see if the culprit returns to the scene of the crime(?).
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,705
628
Mercia
I have one - if you google "trail cam" you will find them. Mine is fairly old - the new ones wil text you the pictures when they are triggered!
 

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