On Thu, Jul 25, 2019 at 7:20 AM John Confer <con...@ithaca.edu> wrote:

> Hi Suan,
>    Thanks for posting that.
>    Mammals are rarely captured by Merlin, but not never. Adults often
> remove the tail and head before they bring it to nestlings. That has been a
> frustration when I tried to identify prey, which I did for 50 prey. None of
> them were mammals, but dead floppy birds without tail or head look like
> mammals. I couldn't tell what it was. At one frame I thought I saw two
> bumps on the ventral surface where the legs of a bird would be. By the way,
> they do eat the bird's legs. Lots of calcium I guess.

Thanks John.

On that evening, I first observed a parent flying by with the prey in its
talons, over the field and an unseen site away from the nest. The video was
taken about 10-20 minutes later when a/the parent brought the prey to the
nest. That timeline is consistent with some food pre-processing.

Meanwhile, this morning the two fully-feathered fledglings sat in the nice
morning sun, preening, ever attentive of the parent's few fly-by's, and
made a couple of short flights to a nearby tree and back, but always
wanting to stay close to home.



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