Sounds like Sandy’s recent report was ‘payback time’ for the birds…

Oh, speaking of Disney films, you may want to avoid watching “The Living 
Desert” (some seriously rigged nature photography to get one critter to eat 
another, several different episodes).
Disney learned his lesson after the bad reviews and didn’t do quite so much 
fake photography after that, ceding the crown to Wild Kingdom.


Chris Pelkie
Information/Data Manager; IT Support
Bioacoustics Research Program
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850

On Sep 11, 2015, at 24:17, Melanie Uhlir 
<<>> wrote:

Well, I do really like Red Foxes. I'm glad to know they like to eat chipmunks. 
I can't help but think Red Squirrels are cute. I blame Beatrix Potter.

I think some Disney films I was shown in early childhood damaged my ability to 
accept the food chain. I just want all the animals to be herbivores who are 

I guess I just have completely illogical biases for some creatures, but nature 
does not support favoritism based on cuteness.

Thank you for the gently phrased reality check, Chris.


On 9/10/2015 10:14 AM, Chris R. Pelkie wrote:
Chipmunks make excellent fox food.
I enjoy the Red Foxes that have taken up nesting, breeding, cavorting, and 
howling at my place in the last few years.
For better or worse, we have a nice selection of chipmunks, red squirrels, and 
gray squirrels, along with voles, deer mice, etc. to keep them well-fed (in 
addition to the compost we toss out there).
The circle goes on.

Chris Pelkie
Information/Data Manager; IT Support
Bioacoustics Research Program
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850

On Sep 9, 2015, at 20:05, Kathleen P Kramer 
<<><>> wrote:

Several years ago, I posted to Cayugabirds-L about seeing a chipmunk kill an 
adult female cardinal. The chipmunk and the cardinal were feeding, apparently 
companionably, on the ground beneath my dad’s bird feeder. Suddenly, the 
chipmunk lunged at the cardinal and grasped her in his/her mouth by the head. 
The cardinal flopped wildly from side to side, trying to escape. We ran 
outside, not able to repress that desire to save the bird, even knowing that as 
Rob says, “Nature is messy.”

The chipmunk ran off, scolding loudly, but we were too late to help the 
cardinal. Her neck was broken. We had to go away from the house on an errand, 
so we placed the dead cardinal on a nearby stump. When we came back a short 
time later, the cardinal was gone. We know she didn’t leave under her own 
power, so the answer probably is that the chipmunk came back and dragged her 
away. Or perhaps a cat that wasn’t kept inside took her.  Pretty dramatic 
example of how predatory these little bundles of muscle really are.

Kathy Kramer

On Sep 9, 2015, at 6:53 PM, Rob Blye 
<<>> wrote:

Chipmunks and squirrels do what they do without conscience or shame as do all 
predators. Nature is messy. Good work for keeping your cats inside.

From: "Melanie Uhlir" <<>>
To: "Robyn Bailey" 
<<><>>, "Susan 
Fast" <<>>, "CAYUGABIRDS-L" 
Sent: Wednesday, September 9, 2015 4:17:23 PM
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] a mystery---goldfinchs

I guess I hate chipmunks now. Why didn't the vicious vermin eat the murder 

My cats are indoor-only. If I could train them to eat only chipmunks and House 
Sparrows I would let them out.


On 9/9/2015 4:11 PM, Robyn Bailey wrote:
Re: Part 2…I have heard that this is a chipmunk M.O. Fortunately, have never 
had to witness it in person.

Robyn Bailey

 On Behalf Of Susan Fast
Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2015 3:20 PM
Subject: [cayugabirds-l] a mystery---goldfinchs

I've been watching some inexplicable behavior (to me) by 1 or 2 goldfinches 
nesting in my yard.  There are 2 parts.

Part 1:  2 weeks ago I noticed a female goldfinch perching in bushes along the 
front of the house, then flying toward the upper lefthand corner of a large 
double-hung window, hovering for a second, then flying against the glass.  This 
was late afternoon and she repeated the behavior a dozen times.  I would scare 
her away, but she returned after several minutes.   Night fell and she 
desisted.  At 0700 next morning she was at it again.
I tightly closed the inside curtains.  No effect.  I then hung a painter's 
dropcloth over the whole window on the outside.  This stopped her briefly, but 
she then moved to the upper lefthand corner of an adjacent window (same size 
and shape, but 4' away) and continued.  I put a dropcloth over that window 
also.  I have 2 other identical windows in the second story over these, but she 
did not go up there, thankfully.   I didn't see her the rest of the day.  Next 
morning I took the cloths down and she did not reappear.

Part 2:  The last several days, I have seen a goldfinch flying repeatedly into 
the top (40' up) of a large sugar maple in our side yard.  Nest, I figured.   
About an hour ago, my daughter found a headless baby bird, still warm, on the 
ground under the tree.  The neck was still present, although skinless, the head 
gone except for the very bottom edge of it, apparently cleanly removed.  She 
called me out to look, and as we did so, another baby dropped onto the roof of 
her car.  Blood was still flowing from the point where the neck attaches to the 
body, but both head and neck were gone.  No other damage visible.
  Both babies have rudimentary wing feathers and patches of fuzz here and 
there.  At this time also, an adult goldfinch could be heard vocalizing from 
above in the tree.  Shortly thereafter, a female adult was seen moving about 
among the goldenrod and other weed heads below the tree and picking out seeds.  
She was also vocalizing (prob. same bird) initially, but stopped after a couple 

Ideas welcome.

Steve Fast

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