Snow White Feathers

Basketwork box, drawn at my mum's this afternoon.

IT SEEMS that white feathers didn’t camouflage this bird against the snow. My guess is that it was a Fantail Pigeon, killed by a Sparrowhawk, but as the feathers are near the back door at my mum’s some incident involving the bird hitting the window isn’t impossible.

Whatever it was, it happened on Sunday around 11 a.m.. I was painting at the school but when Barbara called on my mum she commented on the small area of snow that my mum had cleared by the back door but when she left an hour or so later small white feathers – like a fresh sprinkling of oversized snowflakes – had appeared. It wasn’t until today, when most of the snow had melted that we saw just how many feathers there were and that there were larger feathers amongst them.

Time for some Crime Scene Investigation:

Under the microscope this feather, which I think is a right secondary or possibly a tail feather, shows the tell-tale marks of having been plucked by a Sparrowhawk. It has twisted its beak around the base of the quill as it pulled out the feather.

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