Saturday, 28 August 2021

The circle of life

 Monday, August 23rd

You may want to simply glance through this post. I wanted to write about it, to work it through. The day was cloudy, and the crows were noisy. I heard them, and thought I should go see what they were upset about. The turkey vultures were even more upset, as they flew over the house. They are large, their wingspan is about 170cm, I counted 9 soaring in circles in a cloudy sky. vultures  


And they continued...


We'd lost a fawn. The cars just whip by, and the poor thing was hit in the rump. It would have been quick. We have had a doe with one fawn, and another with two. I hoped it was one of the twins.

The crows were going after the carcass, and the turkey vultures were watching from up in the trees. Crows cannot harvest an intact animal, I have read. They don't have the beaks for it. This carcass had injuries, which they exploited.

I was so surprised. They were afraid of the highway, I think. Or the crows.

It bothered me all day. Since the vultures and the crows were so agitated, I thought I should move the carcass. Usually, the county is pretty quick to pick up roadkill, but by the afternoon in sweltering heat... I had to do something. I changed into dirty clothes, grabbed the big wheelbarrow and heavy gloves, and went to the highway. It stunk so badly. It was just gruesome. I don't know how people can do this. The smell stayed in my head all afternoon and evening. I couldn't eat lunch. I did manage dinner.

I'd placed the carcass on Oliver's Lot (below), and set up a trailcam in front of it. I decided to be curious, and see which clean-up critters turned up. If you look closely, you can see the trailcam on its tripod. You can't really see the carcass. 

The vultures took some time and moved off. They are majestic, with their graceful flights, soaring in circles in the now blue sky. I wondered how long it would take. You can recognize them by the 'finger tip' ends of their wings.



I woke up early on Tuesday, and went out to see what was on the trailcam. Now you really cannot see anything, and I am interested in seeing the clean up crew. It's the only way to process it all. I've cut out the most gruesome clips, and chosen a decent thumbnail.

 The turkey vultures were first. They were a bit jumpy. And I never caught all 8 of them at the same time, only 4. Soon they will migrate. We appreciate their work. Turkey vultures 



Next, the coyote came along. He spent a fair amount of time at it, on and off during the day. If you choose to watch, you can see how afraid he is of the highway just off to the right. The vultures didn't even look at the traffic going by! His last visit was 8 p.m. Coyote  

 

The red fox came along at 9 p.m. By the morning there was nothing left but some fur. Nature's plan worked. And mine! Red fox  


It was the doe with the single fawn who we lost. You can see the twin fawns in yesterday's post
They predators were pretty wary. I walked around a bit, and they did an excellent clean up. The coyotes didn't come around after dark. Just the fox. They don't like the trailcam lights. I'm glad it is all over. 

16 comments:

Tom said...

...Turkey vultures are so necessary, but they sure are ugly!

William Kendall said...

It is an efficient part of nature.

eileeninmd said...

I am glad the vultures are out there cleaning up! It is sad that the deer was hit by a vehicle. Enjoy your day!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Sorry it was the single fawn... but it is also true that nature managed a full cycle here (with a little nudge from yourself). Well done for documenting it. YAM xx

Karen said...

So sad. Unfortunately one must die so another can feed. The circle of life. We lost a fawn too. It had some sort of deformity or birth injury to it's head.

Out To Pasture said...

So glad you relocated the fawn body and set up your trail cam. Those coyotes sure are a cautious lot! A few years ago I watched vultures eating the decomposed body of a skunk. Their digestive powers are amazing!

RedPat said...

I just did a quick scan of this post. Sad.

Anvilcloud said...

Was it the doe or the fawn? If it was the doe, I hope the fawn will be ok.

Both you and the critters did good, but, yeah, the coyote was sure nervous.

Jenn Jilks said...

It was the fawn that was whacked, A/C. A lot better, as she is a busy doe, and quite a regular. I wonder if the young fawn would survive without an adult at this stage.

Cloudia said...

Thanks for sharing dear

The Furry Gnome said...

Great use of the trail cam!

Nancy J said...

Sadly, the animals need a carcass to survive, and thank goodness it would have been instant. Years ago, a family member had shot a rabbit, and we knew a wild cat and her 5 kittens were nearby. He tied the rabbit legs to the garage door, and although the kittens were small, by morning only the bare bones and some of the head were left. They came out in daylight, and rushed away if they saw anyone. Better the fawn than the doe, and leaving an orphan. You must have the road nearby, the coyote was spooked so easily.And you are so brave to move the fawn to the grassy area where everyone could eat safely.

Red said...

You're right that it's natures way of looking after things and cleaning up.

Far Side of Fifty said...

So sad:(

Lorrie said...

Several years ago we watched a bald eagle kill and tear apart a blue heron. It was gruesome and I've never felt the same about eagles since. Nature can be so cruel, yet the cycle carries on. Good for you for moving the carcass.

Jeanie said...

I'm glad you were able to move the fawn but that took more guts than I have. And probably more strength. I'm glad it was a quick demise but oh, it makes me so sad.