Saturday, December 10, 2011

Life and death on the prairie

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The Katy Prairie continues to produce interesting sights day after day. Not all of them are beautiful, though.

On Longenbaugh I passed several Black Vultures feeding on an unidentifiable corpse.



On Porter Road I stopped when I noticed a Red-tailed Hawk standing over a cat carcass while a couple of Crested Caracaras and a Turkey Vulture lurked nearby. 



When I got out of the car, the Red-tailed flew off and the three scavengers moved in. 


More Turkey Vultures arrived.



They proceeded to squabble over the intestines, which they pulled further and further out and away from the body.






This gave the Caracaras a chance to move in and feed.


However, the commotion attracted the attention of some Black Vultures, whose arrival soon displaced the Caracaras.



By the time I left eight vultures and the two Caracaras were arguing over the carcass. At least it seems that none of the cat's corpse will go to waste.

P.S.
It wasn't all blood and guts, though. I finally managed to see and grab a (poor) photo of the Spotted Towhee that has been hanging out on Sharp Road.


The Towhee took my Harris County life list to 250 species.

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3 comments:

Andrew said...

Wonderful images...

Matthew Sim said...

Great sightings and some excellent shots!

Jeff said...

Thanks, Andrew and Matthew.