I can understand how a predator can get a bunch 
of chickens in a cage, but in the wild, after it 
got one, I think the others would fly away. So a 
predator getting them all seems unlikely to me. 
Am I missing something? Gary's suggestion here makes sense.


At 02:29 PM 5/31/2020, Gary Kohlenberg wrote:
>I hadn’t thought of Mustelid or Possum as Wes suggested as a culprit.
>As only one bird lost his head that could be 
>predation after death. One other bird dead with 
>head attached and another dying with possible 
>neck issues makes the suggestion of botulism by 
>Kevin Cummings and Morgan Hapeman interesting. I 
>know Montezuma has had problems with this in the 
>past. The water in Shindagin is pretty stagnant 
>which could be a problem. It also better answers 
>the unlikely idea of multiple birds shot in such a manner.
>On May 31, 2020, at 11:53 AM, Christopher T. 
>Tessaglia-Hymes <c...@cornell.edu> wrote:
> Just throwing this out there as another possibility: weasel or ferret.
>This is, as I understand it, classic kill method 
>used by these Mustelids. They’ve been know to 
>kill off an entire flock of chickens in a night, 
>severing heads with minimal disruption to the rest of the body.
>Chris T-H
>Sent from my iPhone
>On May 31, 2020, at 11:07, Sandy Podulka 
><<mailto:s...@cornell.edu>s...@cornell.edu> wrote:
>>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 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 ed 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 
>>>coucould 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 whichh made me 
>>>sad. More scanning found a third male Mallard 
>>>floating in the pond dead. I didn’t see any 
>>>more, e, 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 ld 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 er 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:
>>>1) http://www.mail-archive.com/cayugabirds-l@cornell.edu/maillist.html
>>>2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds
>>>3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html
>>>Please submit your observations to eBird:
>>Cayugabirds-L List Info:
>><http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME>Welcome and Basics
>><http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES>Rules and Information
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>>Mail Archive
>>Please submit your observations to <http://ebird.org/content/ebird/>eBird!
>Cayugabirds-L List Info:
><http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME>Welcome and Basics
><http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES>Rules and Information
>Configuration and Leave
>Mail Archive
>Please submit your observations to <http://ebird.org/content/ebird/>eBird!


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