I never thought I'd catch THIS in a live trap!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Sunny Side Up, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Last summer I posted about catching this https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=354555 and thought that would be the oddest animal I'd ever find in a live trap. Today's catch topped that for surprise!

    I have 2 live traps set in my neighbor's yard, in the half-acre of swampy thicket behind their house. It's mostly a tangle of a tall leggy shrub called Florida holly. It's really difficult for me to navigate, the branches & trunks lean every way due to the hurricanes twisting it all around. But I'm trying to catch the bobcat that has been killing my ducks & chickens, it takes them into this thicket to pluck, eat, & cache its leftovers. I set 2 traps in there using the remains of the last rooster the cat caught for bait.

    It's been 2 days since that rooster was killed, I check the traps first thing in the morning & again right before sundown. Today as I was walking towards the thicket I heard the ka-CHUNK of one of the traps snapping shut. I certainly hoped it could be the bobcat going for an early dinner, but as I got closer I heard a lot of shuffling from inside the trap. It sounded more like a squirrel or rabbit trying to get out. I manuevered my way through the thicket up to the trap, in the deep shade in the fading light of the day, and began lifting the leafy branches I placed over it for camouflage.

    Inside the trap I see the back of a large dark-colored animal. I notice that it is smooth... that it is feathered! Its back is towards me, its head is poking at the far end of the trap. I'm trying to see its face... I notice some sort of bumpy red skin... wonder if it's a Muscovy duck that's wandered in... but what would lure a duck into a live trap???

    I am trying to disturb the set-up of the trap as little as possible, so I can re-set and cover it once I release this bird. But what is it? I am trying to get the flashlight beam on its face to make a positive identification, and finally get a good look at its face & beak to find...









    ... a VULTURE!!! Gone into the trap after the pieces of the rooster I set there! How ever did this bird know it was there? I don't think it could have seen it, they must be able to smell dead things to eat. I held the door of the trap open and banged on the end to shoo it out. The vulture walked out to the edge of the thicket where I guess it flew away. I would have followed it to watch it go, but I was in a hurry to reset the trap, and the other one where looks like it must have tried pulling the rooster pieces out through the side (the doors were shut and the covering branches had been knocked off, the rooster wing was poking out the side).

    I'm not going to say "now I've seen EVERYthing", instead I'm going to wonder "what will be the NEXT unusual creature I will catch?"

    [​IMG] But I'm really hoping to catch a boring old bobcat! [​IMG]
  2. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Ha ha ha!
  3. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I think that is so very cool.

    Yes, they can smell dead for miles. (or so I have read)
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j True BYC Addict

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    No pictures?? [​IMG]
  5. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    Quote:BINGO! Vultures and buzzards have an incredibly keen sense of smell.
  6. heathersboers

    heathersboers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2010
    Well lets see.... a turtle, then a vulture- I have a request!!!! [​IMG] can you please catch me a chupacabra so ill be rich?? But seriously, if you keep on-youll end up getting one of the neighbors kids [​IMG]
  7. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Sorry, NO photos. I don't carry the camera everywhere, but I'm beginning to think I should. This was no pleasant stroll along a woodland path, more like battling my way through B'rer Rabbit's briar patch. I'm setting traps in my own yard but also in this thicket right where the b'cat took my rooster to pluck and then cached in a pile of leaves. I was just checking them for readiness before it got dark tonight when I heard the trap snap shut and found my surprise. This proves how keen a vulture's sense of smell is, there is no way this bird could see the dead meat it was attracted to in that trap.

    I just looked in my Audubon book, it was a Turkey Vulture, and the book says "...Finds Carcasses by sight and smell..." Here are links to learn more than you ever thought you should know about vultures: http://vulturesociety.homestead.com/TVFacts.html, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey_Vulture
  9. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    We have turkey vultures. It is funny to see the hens scatter and run for the shed when they see one overhead. Did you know the turkey vulture pees on their legs?!?!!? I think it was to coat them with antibacterial to protect them when they are leg deep in dead stuff. They look pretty flying overhead.
  10. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    How can you post something like this and not have a pic..... :)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by