|Two coyotes working the carcass on the night of Day 2.|
On Day 2 of my dead-steer observations, I watched from the backyard with binoculars as ravens landed on the carcass and frequently flew off again throughout the morning. By high noon, the cattle were peacefully grazing in the Golf Tee pasture near the carcass so I decided it was safe to check the wildlife camera. When I opened the sheep gate to the Golf Tee, the living cattle looked up and trotted out of view.
Please note: the remainder of this blog post contains graphic descriptions and photos of a carcass and predators feeding on it. Do not select "Read More" below if you do not want to see these. If your curiosity is greater than your gag reflex, press on.
|How do ravens keep their feathers clean and glossy|
while they are scavenging on a carcass?
|The first day, we only had time to attach a wildlife camera to a tripod|
and stake it down. Because the cows rub on everything,
we later mounted the cameras on T-posts.
|The cows continued to graze the pasture around the steer carcass|
and often showed up on the photos.
|Honest guys, I didn't do it.|
|Coyote visiting the carcass on Day 2 in broad daylight.|
|This hard pellet about 2" long showed up near the carcass on Day 8.|
I do not know what it is and it was gone by the next day.
|Look closely to upper right|
to see whitish coyote by dark carcass early one morning.
|Day 9 - the carcass has been dragged and flipped,|
providing easy access to large area of fresh meat.
|Night before Day 9 - coyote on carcass|
|Night before Day 9 - relatively small round head,|
muscular profile, and round long tail of a mountain lion
|3 minutes later, the lion is dragging the carcass downhill.|
Click photo if you want to see enlarged version.
|Large track on downhill side of carcass after busy night of dragging.|
|Bobcat sneaking across the pasture in broad daylight.|
When sitting, it looked very much like the brown tufts of grass.
|Miri withstanding the stench and resetting the camera|
after the carcass was moved the night before.
|Even the living cattle would sometimes sniff the carcass.|
See black steer in background with neck outstretched.