There are pictures of dead animals here. You have been warned.
I lost one of my 9 remaining chicks this afternoon due to a buzzard attack. I was walking Bud back out the croft when I saw movement to my right and then a large buzzard flew right across in front of me, carrying a 20-week old pullet. I ran after the buzzard and it dropped the bird, I picked it up but it was obviously dead. The lack of a head was my first clue.
I dropped the bird and ran to check the rest of them as quickly as possible, and found another one cowering in a corner. It too had been attacked and wounded above the right shoulder.
I have taken it into the house for the time being. It is eating but I am concerned about the wound. It’s quite big and will probably pick up infections. Any tips on how to treat are welcomed.
Back outside, I got the other 7 chicks/pullets back into their run, along with the Frizzle cockerel. And then surveyed the area.
This is where the kill was probably made
And nearby are the white feathers from the wounded bird.
The buzzard was back by this point, and hovering over head.
This isn’t the first loss I’ve had due to raptor attack. In addition to a chick lost to crows in late 2011, I also lost a lamb to a suspected Sea Eagle attack last summer. (Don’t look at the link if you are squeamish)
And how do I know it was one of the pullets attacked? Well, I ringed them yesterday and it is still there!
I’m angry at the buzzard, but not much. It is only doing what is natural and it’ll teach me to being complacent about them. There has been a boom in their population recently, probably linked to the number of rabbits here. If I do feel angry later, I can console myself with the thought that I’m going to have a stuffed buzzard in my sitting room soon!
*update at 6pm*
Seems quite bright and I’ve taken her into the utility room. Cleaned the wound with salt water and applied poultry anti-septic spray. Think it may need stitches as it’s a big wound but it isn’t deep, only skin deep. Lucky bird, considering.