Thursday, 11 February 2016

Killer Squirrel: the end of Robin Redbreast

Warning: not for the squeamish or lovers of Robins

I can’t say I feel a million dollars today but I did fancy sharing a garden drama from earlier this week. Tuesday morning, there I was, standing by the kettle, waiting for my first cup of tea of the day, when out of the corner of my eye, Something was happening in the garden. Still slow with sleep, I turned to take a look. A squirrel emerged from the undergrowth and proceeded to manhandle a meaty looking prize. Aww, how sweet, it’s found some burnt toast, I thought. But wait, nope, there’s orange on it….what on earth?! Surely not….flipping heck, it’s only gone and killed a Robin! Mr butter-wouldn’t-melt Nutkin must have employed stealth and cunning, clawed the Robin from the top of the back fence and finished it off on the ground. He proceeded to carry his plunder to the Honeysuckle trellis podium, where he proudly plucked and tore at its lifeless body. Nothing like a bit of death and carnage before breakfast. Anyway, I’d never seen a squirrel kill or eat a bird before, so, thought it worth a blog post. I’m hoping the Robin wasn’t my midnight singer but I fear the worst, unfortunately.








The video was shot in 4K. To watch it at the best resolution, press play and then click on the cog in the right lower corner, select Quality and choose 2160p 4K



P.S. Was woken in the early hours of this morning by a "singing" Tawny Owl. Spring advances...

13 comments:

  1. Wow. Never heard or seen anything like that. Maybe foods a bit scarce or just an opportunity it couldn't resist.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your comments Si and Marc. It really was an extraordinary thing to see.
    Marc - I think you could be right - it was just an opportunity too good to resist. Probably 99 times out of 100, the Robin would have flown off but, for whatever reason, the squirrel must have had the element of surprise on its side and triumphed. I wish I’d seen how it all happened.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lucy, it would seem quite likely that your squirrel actually encountered the robin as a corpse. There is very little information about grey squirrels taking live prey, eggs and nestlings during breeding season being the most likely scenario. Yet it remains a fascinating encounter, however the demise of the Robin, you have been extremely privileged to witness such extraordinary behaviour. Keep happy and stay positive - Dylan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dylan, you too could well be right, although, the position of the back fence and the mass of shrubs/trees which sit against it make me think it is entirely possible the squirrel just got very, very lucky. I wish I hadn’t been half asleep when it all happened, lol.

      Delete
  4. Wow! Even if it was carrion, I have never heard of such a thing. Worth sending in to Springwatch I reckon! Super clear video Lucy.
    I hope you are well...it is nearly time for my emergence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol, I wonder what species of moth you'd choose to be, Ben?!

      Delete
    2. Scarce Silver-lines Bena bicolorana, or any moth with 'Ben' in it's latin name...chose this because it is the most frequent I encounter :D

      Delete
  5. Yuck!!! From ARF

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm guessing you prefer pretty Kingfisher to rib of Robin, ARF!

      Delete
  6. Never heard of them preying on adult birds before - eggs and chicks, but not adults. Not my favourite introduced alien!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Martin. I know what you mean. Would prefer a Red Squirrel or two!

      Delete