A Beautiful But Unwanted Guest At The Feeders

Wildlife,bugs, beasts, and all non-bird species

A Beautiful But Unwanted Guest At The Feeders

Postby tozjohn » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:49 pm

I guess you could say that the year 2016 has started out at our house with kinda a "bang". As I was standing in the kitchen preparing our New Years day supper I was also watching our feeding stations for the purpose of doing a eBird report. The yard was filled with our locals including the Hermit Thrush and "George" our lonesome grackle whom was joyfully tearing my suet ball to shreds. All of the sudden all the birds spooked and left except the grackle. I quickly looked around to see it there was any flying predators about such as a Merlin or Shrike, but none could be seen. I then looked under the suet feeder and behold, spied this character wistfully looking up at "George" and the suet. I grabbed my camera an took a few shots and at the same time the grackle spied what was under him. To say he left in a bit of a hurry would be an understatement. The big cat tried to leap up and knock the suet down unsuccessfully, but he did happen to catch a claw on one side of the station and tore it a bit. Unable to grab a quick snack he proceeded to prowl around the back of our property for a few minutes before retreating to the safety of the conservation area behind our house. In the past we have had mice, rats, coons, deer, fox, a couple of bears patrol or partake of our feeding stations but this is the first time we've had a Bobcat. He sure was a beautiful animal, altough I would prefer that he stays away. I took a few pics of him while he was with us but they aren't too good. It was heavy overcast with snow showers at the time making for very poor lighting. Sure wish the sun would have come out for just a minute but alas, that never happens, does it??? Also doesn't help having to shot through a window.

Linda and Ron Johnston
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

PS - About 15 min after the Bobcat left, "George" reappeared, takes more than a big cat to keep him off his suet ball.

Common Grackle (George) on suet - Fort Creek SSM ON, January 1, 2016.jpg
This is George on his suet ball that the Bobcat was watching. You can see the damage to the screen on the feeder where the cats claw got caught when he tried to knock it out of the tree.
Common Grackle (George) on suet - Fort Creek SSM ON, January 1, 2016.jpg (299.01 KiB) Viewed 829 times

Bobcat watching Grackle - Fort Creek SSM ON, January 1, 2016.jpg
The Bobcat snuck up on the grackle and patiently watched the bird until he was noticed. Never knew a grackle could fly that fast.
Bobcat watching Grackle - Fort Creek SSM ON, January 1, 2016.jpg (175.5 KiB) Viewed 829 times

Bobcat watching me - Fort Creek SSM ON, January 1, 2016.jpg
It appears that the Bobcat spied me moving behind the window as from this point on he appeared to be very cautious.
Bobcat watching me - Fort Creek SSM ON, January 1, 2016.jpg (164.64 KiB) Viewed 829 times

Bobcat heading home - Fort Creek SSM ON, January 1, 2016.jpg
Very low light = high ISO = dark, grainy pics. But I'm happy that I at least got a few fairly good pics of this fella. Here he is finally tired of trying for the suet and is heading back to the conservation area behind our house.
Bobcat heading home - Fort Creek SSM ON, January 1, 2016.jpg (287.73 KiB) Viewed 829 times
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Re: A Beautiful But Unwanted Guest At The Feeders

Postby MikeW » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:18 am

Great story and photos! Bobcats have always been one of my favorites and something I hope to be able to catch through the lens some day. Thanks for posting this...really cool.
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Re: A Beautiful But Unwanted Guest At The Feeders

Postby Danaduck » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:51 pm

That's an animal one gets to see only three or four times in a lifetime in the wild and you got some great pictures. It looks pretty healthy but a bit young. I will be interested to see if you find him hunting at the feeders again and if you get to see him if it's still healthy.
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Re: A Beautiful But Unwanted Guest At The Feeders

Postby res » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:47 pm

Great shots!! You did an excellent job with the conditions. I would not mind some time with him!!
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Re: A Beautiful But Unwanted Guest At The Feeders

Postby Brian Zwiebel » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:57 pm

Oh my, the one staring right at you is fantastic. Great story.
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