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Mystery Photo

3-4-19 mystery photo_U1A3795I encountered this scene days ago after a light snowfall when I was on a trail that had been cleared through woodlands last fall. I noticed large bird tracks (present, but not identifiable as such in photo) leading to debris that had been piled just off the cleared trail. Why, I wondered, was any bird attracted to this particular site. As I continued snowshoeing there were several more areas where a similar scene (bird tracks and stumps/logs/branches/sticks) presented itself. What I saw moments later above my head solved the mystery of these scenarios for me. Can you solve it without the revelatory clue I was presented with?

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36 responses

  1. Kathy Schillemat

    Hawk (or some other similar bird) gathering nesting material?

    March 4, 2019 at 7:25 am

  2. watershed narratives

    finding bugs. turkeys?

    March 4, 2019 at 7:27 am

  3. Jessica

    Bird of prey looking for squirrels/mice?

    March 4, 2019 at 7:37 am

  4. Suedawns

    A large bird(owl or hawk perhaps) gathering sticks, other tree debris, for building a nest.

    March 4, 2019 at 7:39 am

  5. Terry Marron

    Grouse

    March 4, 2019 at 7:43 am

  6. Lynne Woodard

    A barred owl sitting in a tree?

    March 4, 2019 at 7:48 am

  7. Robyn Deveney

    Someone’s building a nest?

    March 4, 2019 at 7:48 am

    • Robyn Deveney

      I’m thinking crow or raven.

      March 4, 2019 at 7:51 am

  8. Rinky

    “Someone”gathering nesting material????

    March 4, 2019 at 7:52 am

  9. Cindy

    Ha! How about the hint in “related” posts? I’m guessing an owl looking for small rodents? 😁 🦉

    Yesterday I followed the track of a raven that walked for a 100 yards before I gave up. It was still going strong – up and down hills, through thick evergreens, etc. It never seemed to pause, but thought it might be looking for mice – as there were mice tracks. As well as grouse.

    Would birds “dig” down through snow to get to mice and voles like mammals do? Probably not fast enough – unless it could “punch” down. The snow was deep with a significant crust. Hmmmm. Maybe why the different hunting style?

    March 4, 2019 at 7:52 am

    • Jenifer Marchesi

      Owl diving for rodents is my guess

      March 4, 2019 at 9:09 am

  10. Margaret Curtin

    A large bird (Raven?) building a nest?

    March 4, 2019 at 7:55 am

  11. Susan Brown

    I would guess that the Big Bird was searching the grass piles for mice and voles sheltering in them.

    March 4, 2019 at 8:08 am

  12. Bill on the hill

    The image makes it difficult to discern precisely what caused this, however the answer may well be from the previous post!
    Thanks Mary,
    Bill… :~)

    March 4, 2019 at 8:19 am

  13. Julie

    A raven searching for small rodents?

    March 4, 2019 at 8:20 am

  14. Paul Glazebrook

    Grouse drumming site?

    March 4, 2019 at 8:22 am

  15. Mark Nowlan

    Possibly a fox
    looking for a den site?

    March 4, 2019 at 8:23 am

  16. Tom Alt

    Raven gathering nest material.

    On Mon, Mar 4, 2019 at 7:16 AM Naturally Curious with Mary Holland wrote:

    > Mary Holland posted: “I encountered this scene days ago after a light > snowfall when I was on a trail that had been cleared through woodlands last > fall. I noticed large bird tracks (present, but not identifiable as such in > photo) leading to debris that had been piled just off t” >

    March 4, 2019 at 8:52 am

  17. Sally

    Owl?

    March 4, 2019 at 8:55 am

  18. Beth Z.

    Gathering nesting material?

    March 4, 2019 at 9:35 am

  19. david

    raven nest building

    March 4, 2019 at 9:44 am

  20. Kathie Fiveash

    I think it is a male raven gathering nest materials.

    March 4, 2019 at 9:49 am

  21. pabdab@gmail.com

    A large nest that had fallen, maybe blown down. An eagle’s nest?

    March 4, 2019 at 9:56 am

  22. Betsy Janeway

    I’m with the raven folks.

    March 4, 2019 at 10:13 am

  23. Some good guessers here! Can’t wait to find out.

    March 4, 2019 at 12:01 pm

  24. My guess is a nesting goshawk.

    March 4, 2019 at 12:05 pm

  25. s thomas

    nest building hawk crow or owl

    March 4, 2019 at 12:44 pm

  26. Alice Pratt

    Wild Turkeys? You looked up & saw them roosting?

    March 4, 2019 at 12:59 pm

  27. Sarah Zuccarelli

    OWL OR RAVEN……looking for food (as in small rodents etc. hiding or living in the brush nests). Perhaps these areas were deliberately created by the human animal!! SWZ/NH Please visit and support http://www.chapmansanctuaryvisnywoods.com (‘> ( ) / ”

    March 4, 2019 at 1:20 pm

  28. I watched a Crow in my backyard about a month ago, I wondered what was he doing? He had a mammal in his mouth and was tossing it and letting it land on the ground. It was a meadow vole and once the Crow realized the vole was dead off he flew with it. This post made me think about Crows and Ravens, how they walk the ground in search of food. I am guessing Crow or Raven and if singular, then Raven.

    March 4, 2019 at 2:59 pm

  29. Victoria Davis

    Going after a little rodent

    March 4, 2019 at 3:04 pm

  30. Mimsy Beckwith

    Snowy (or Great Grey) Owl?? The prints look heavily feathered and splayed. Perhaps hunting rodents in that nice snag fall!

    March 4, 2019 at 3:46 pm

  31. I wonder if it is a Wild Turkey hen checking out sites for her spring nest?

    March 4, 2019 at 5:41 pm

  32. Carol

    I know that Turkeys were out foraging the other day. I suspect the same here.

    March 5, 2019 at 5:46 am

  33. Wallie

    The birds were getting nesting mateeial

    March 5, 2019 at 8:07 am

  34. Bird of prey looking for small mammals.. mice, moles, voles, rats etc.

    March 8, 2019 at 2:10 pm

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