That is also one of my favorite places!

I have seen 4 male Mallards in that small pond 
consistently this spring (but not today, and I guess I now know why).
I have no idea what could kill so many birds in 
such an odd way except a hunter, or maybe a group 
of hunters--I would think an owl wouldn't have a 
chance at all of them at once, as the others would fly off.

So sorry to hear this. As we are learning in so 
many ways these days, people can be truly cruel.

Sandy Podulka

At 10:08 AM 5/31/2020, Gary Kohlenberg wrote:
>Saturday I walked with my daughter down 
>Shindagin Hollow Rd., in the State Forest, to 
>the intersection with Gulf Creek Rd. for 
>exercise, fun and to show her the area. It was 
>very birdy and beautiful as usual especially the 
>beaver pond at the bottom of the hill. This 
>place always reminds me of the Adirondacks and is a favorite of mine.
>There was a surprising amount of traffic on 
>Shindagin Rd. both cars and mountain bikers 
>savoring the nice day. Some out of state plates 
>on cars of dozens parked at the intersection and 
>FLT crossing. I was reminded how popular this 
>area is and how much we need wild areas during a pandemic.
>We were amazed at how many Red Newts were 
>crossing the road. Some didn’t make it 
>unharmed, but most of them did. I learned about 
>their life cycle, that they are toxic, but 
>contain off the charts cuteness. We tried to 
>help a couple on the journey, but they are very 
>independent minded and don’t need any intervention.
>We noticed a dead bird in the pond by the 
>outflow pipe under the road; a dead male 
>Mallard. Kayla thought it quite interesting and 
>checked to find it had no head. I thought that 
>was weird, but I have seen it before, and 
>guessed maybe an owl had decapitated it. I’m 
>not actually positive owls would or could do 
>this, but seem to remember some discussion about 
>this. If anyone knows if it can be a thing please enlighten me.
>I scanned the pond and saw movement which was 
>another male Mallard struggling in the water. 
>His body floated with the head hanging 
>underwater unable to lift it up. He may have had 
>a broken neck. I wasn’t able to reach the poor 
>guy to end his misery which made me sad. More 
>scanning found a third male Mallard floating in 
>the pond dead. I didn’t see any more, but 
>there could have been one in the grass. Three 
>seems like a typical total for this small water to hold on any particular day.
>My hypothesis is that they were all shot on the 
>water with a shotgun. To cleanly decapitate a 
>bird the shot would have to be at very close 
>range. The other birds could have all been hit 
>with the same shot if they had been swimming 
>very together. This water is very small and 
>birds not hit would have flown and probably 
>circled around. It’s not likely they would 
>have been shot in the air and fallen back into this small area.
>This poaching event is very disturbing and we 
>had another event like this in the same general 
>area. I’m thinking of the eagle shooting over 
>bait. No hunter would shoot birds in a barrel or 
>sitting on the water even in season. In my 
>opinion this is just criminal at any time.
>We all have bigger social troubles overall, but 
>felt compelled to document this as a complete 
>view of birding in the finger lakes. The little things still go on.
>Happier birding today,
>Cayugabirds-L List Info:
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