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White-tailed Deer Scavengers

deer carcass2  028According to NPR, each year Americans waste 33 million tons of food (and much of this ends up in landfills where it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas). This situation is totally alien to that of other animals in the natural world, which seem to find a use for any and every organic particle. Great crested flycatchers incorporate shed snake skins into their nests, beavers build dams and lodges with branches they have eaten the bark off of, ermine line their nests with the fur and feathers of prey — the list goes on and on. When it comes to food, there is equally little waste. The carcasses of animals do not linger long, as almost every atom of their bodies is recycled. Fishers, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, opossums, bald eagles, hawks, woodpeckers, ravens, crows and many other animals make short work of a dead deer in winter. Come spring, if there’s anything left, the final clean-up crew consists of legions of turkey vultures, beetles, flies and bacteria, among others. How unfortunate we’ve strayed so far from a process that’s worked for so many for so long.

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8 responses

  1. Bunny

    Excellent post …a great lesson from the wild.

    February 18, 2014 at 2:24 pm

  2. Doreen Morse

    It is wonderful that you bring up this subject of waste and relate it to how Mother handles it all. A program on the TV last evening did give encouraging news of the growing trend to glean, gather and distribute grocery store and restaurant extras and outdated but worthy food. I hope the trend continues and we human get back on track.

    February 18, 2014 at 2:42 pm

  3. Well said! Thank you.

    February 18, 2014 at 3:04 pm

  4. Nature is our best teacher. I love the balance of all things, the perfect recycling of everything plant and animal. Our crimes against nature are legion…let’s hope we learn from our mistakes before it is too late.

    February 18, 2014 at 4:06 pm

  5. Myra Ferguson

    Don’t forget the mice eating the shed antlers around December. If you want to display the beautiful deer or moose antlers, you better get out there quickly–they’re gone in short order and the mice get fatter!

    February 18, 2014 at 4:31 pm

  6. Polly Forcier

    Mary, There is a HUGE flock of robins in Quechee. I just saw them at Deere Run, 1140 Murphy Rd., which is about 300 feet into where Rte4 and Murphy Road intersect. One bird had a berry in its mouth. Polly Forcier

    _____

    From: Naturally Curious with Mary Holland [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 9:19 AM To: polly65@comcast.net Subject: [New post] White-tailed Deer Scavengers

    Mary Holland posted: “According to NPR, each year Americans waste 33 million tons of food (and much of this ends up in landfills where it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas). This situation is totally alien to that of other animals in the natural world, which seem to f”

    February 18, 2014 at 6:21 pm

  7. Kevin Marshall

    Hi Mary.

    I live in Sutton, NH and was surprised to see a dead beaver today just off the road next to a pond. I must have been hit by a car. What would have induced the beaver to leave its winter home under the ice this time of year? Searching for food perhaps?

    Kevin Marshall

    February 22, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    • Hi Kevin,
      You’re right, if there is open water beavers will take advantage of it and leave the water to cut fresh trees. It is also their breeding time, but they mate in the water, so that shouldn’t have anything to do with it!

      February 22, 2014 at 9:25 pm

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