Thursday, October 24, 2013 Great Horned Owl kills Pelagic Cormorant!

Seward, Alaska

Pouring, gushing, pounding, torrential rain! How could it rain so much so long? A friend's rain gauge measured 1.87 inches in 10 hours and it was still raining!

I received an amazing report today about two GREAT HORNED OWLS sitting on Lowell Point Road in the predawn darkness around 6:30 am. One owl seemed to be sitting on a dead bird. They both flushed as she drove up. When the caller returned to Lowell Point in the early afternoon she saw the still fresh carcass of a black bird with webbed feet lying in the middle of the road.

Mystified, she called me. Equally mystified, I dashed out in the torrential rain and found a headless PELAGIC CORMORANT with most of its innards spilling out. I moved it off the road to prevent scavengers from being hit. 

How very odd! Would an owl attack a pelagic cormorant as it floated peacefully on the dark water near shore? Would the owl be able to haul an adult pelagic cormorant as it struggled and flailed, out of the water, kill it, and proceed to tear off its head and eat it?

This strikes me as very unusual behavior for a Great Horned Owl, or even two, to be hunting seabirds at night.

If anyone has any experience with this, I'd be very curious to know.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

No comments:

Post a Comment