A Sad Feathered Tale

When I came home from work the other evening and opened the gate to the small courtyard in front of our house, I was greeted by this mass of feathers on the bricks. I looked around for a bird–or more accurately, a bird’s mortal remains–but they were nowhere to be seen.

The array of feathers itself tells part of a sad tale. Some poor bird evidently breathed its last on our little walkway, and the feathers indicate that it only occurred after a serious struggle. I would guess that the bird was jumped and brutally attacked by a predator–a cat, perhaps–the feathers flew, and after the bird was defeated the cat trotted off to do what it will with the bird’s carcass, leaving only the pile of feathers behind. That’s a bit strange, though, because I’ve never seen a bird land in that area, and I also haven’t seen any cats or other bird-catching creatures in our dog-oriented neighborhood. An alternative explanation would be that the bird was captured and killed somewhere else, and the assailant brought the body through our fence to perform the defeathering at its leisure before heading elsewhere. Of course, we’ve never had anything like that happen, either.

It’s weird and disturbing to think that some poor bird may have spent its last moments in a desperate struggle for survival on the bricks of our tiny courtyard. I’ve now respectfully disposed of the feathers.

4 thoughts on “A Sad Feathered Tale

  1. We have magpies and currawongs come to our backyard season after season with their fledglings as we have water out for them and toss out a coule of slices of bread for them each day.
    The hardest part of this was teaching my son that nature is harsh and it is survival of the fittest. It took time but he has come to learn that lesson and now delights that the birds that survive remember and accept him.
    Mind you he laughs when I’m in the veggie patch and the birds are poking around for grubs and worms and I’m scolding them for getting in my way as they ignore me.

    Liked by 1 person

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