A falcon’s meat locker

Nature never fails to surprise and impress, even when I’m surprised by something impressively cruel and gruesome.

We learned this summer of a fascinating predatory behavior among Eleonora’s Falcons nesting on islands off the coast of Morocco.  The falcons there hunt migrating songbirds and cache them for future use.  That’s not too unusual, as many predators kill more than they can consume at one time to provide some insurance calories when times are lean. The unusual part is that these falcons are storing live prey.

There appear to be two storage strategies for these falcons: wedge small songbirds into holes and crevices too tight for the little birds to escape or pluck every wing and tail feather off the hapless victims so that they are unable to fly.

Read more here.

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