Great Horned Owls are sort of like domestic cats, from my understanding,
in that their predatory instinct is so strong that they will kill prey
even when they've just eaten. When that happens, they do typically eat
or carry off the head and leave the rest, from what I've been told by
knowledgeable naturalists. I don't think even a full-grown rabbit is
heavy enough to stop a GHO from carrying the whole thing off if it
wanted to. Owl banders I've spoken to say they've never been up in a
GHO nest that they didn't find one or two cat collars in it, and cats
are heavier than rabbits.
Poor old wabbit. RIP.
On 2/6/2011 4:16 PM, Ruth Stewart wrote:
> This morning I was saddened to see that our resident rabbit, who was
> living under our deck, had met his demise in the night or early a.m.
> The crows were feeding. The rabbit was clearly not frozen, the head
> was missing and there were NO signs of tracks in the snow (fox) or
> tracks ON the snow. Me thinks this may have been the work of an owl
> who didn't or couldn't depart with its prey.
> What would decapitate a rabbit and leave the rest?
> 2 Evening Grosbeaks showed up briefly yesterday at my feeder. Nice
> to see. Wish they stayed.
> ruth stewart e dorset
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