[CT Birds] Beautiful but probably fatal snow angel

David Provencher davidprovencher at sbcglobal.net
Sun Dec 30 12:43:58 EST 2012

Just got back from hiking at Walden Preserve in Salem. Five miles breaking
trail through 10 inches of snow was a great deal tougher physically than the
ten miles I hiked before the snow on rougher terrain the day before! Birds
were few today. Many many Coyote tracks, some fox trails, a few snow slides
that were likely Otter but might possibly have been Fisher, and one
intriguing track that might have been Bobcat but the snow was too dry to
hold the prints well enough to be sure. In one forest interior field the
Coyote tracks showed a deliberate zig zag pattern of a canid hunting for
small mammals under the snow. But the best find of all was the only small
mammal track I encountered. A White-footed Mouse track started from a tunnel
exit from below the snow and tracked for three or four feet in a straight
line. It terminated in the center of a beautiful avian snow angel made by
the wings of an owl, probably Barred, that hit the mouse as it scurried
across the snow. What made the mouse emerge from the cover of the deep snow
I don't know. But the owl must have been sitting at the edge of the field
and spotted the little critter on its brief last journey. The owl snow angel
made my hike!


The few birds encountered included the following notables;


Red-Shouldered Hawk, 1 adult

Black Vulture

Belted Kingfisher

Hermit Thrush

Winter Wren

Eastern Bluebird, 5 in flight

Pine Siskin, 2 heard in flight

Redpoll, 1 heard in flight, presumably Common.




Dave Provencher

Naturally New England


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