Cold Case

A DC Bird Blogger wrote: “It is important to look up to see birds, but some interesting sights are at your feet, too.” He was referring to ice crystallization patterns, and unless he was trying to back out temperature and humidity from ice microstructure, I do not know for what such curiosity can be considered “important” even if “interesting.” Nevertheless, I do not disagree . . .


Spotted in the backyard of my Grandparents’ winter house in Pagosa Springs, CO, 2 January 2010

The wingspan, or at the least the imprinted wingspan, seems too small for a bird of prey (a reference scale would have been helpful; I estimated that it was about 50 ± 5 cm.). Regretfully, I know nothing of characteristic gait or rather hop lengths of birds. On one side, there is evidence of at least 6 primaries, but that is not particularly elucidating. I guessed, rather uneducatedly, that this was an impression left by a Crow or possibly a Black-billed Magpie, if she held her tail upright, or maybe even a Jay or . . . I really do not have any leads in this case. Is there a forensic ornithologist out there who knows better?

+++Update (15 January 2010 – 20:43): Please read the conjectures and speculations of the readers of GrrlScientist. At least, I think that the consensus is that the prime suspect is a Corvid.

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~ by finchwench on Sunday, 10 January 2010.

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