April 24, 2011

We tried to figure out what that hawk was eating.

There are close-up frames in the video in the previous post. Commenters had ideas:
Rick Lee said...
Mmmmm... bunny.

Bruce said...
The kids are gonna be pissed off when they don't get any candy or Easter eggs this year.

galdosiana said...
It's hard to tell, but it looks kind of like a weasel. Were you guys able to figure it out?

Jason (the commenter) said...
"Why can't I just eat my otter?"

Irene said...
Squirrel is a nice, sweet meat.

Big Mike said...
If neighborhood kids come around putting up posters about a missing kitty, I maybe know what happened to it.
No, it wasn't a kitty or a bunny. It wasn't a squirrel either. Weasel and otter were our 2 best guesses. I was leaning toward otter because of the black-tipped tail. Quaestor — another commenter — said groundhog, but it's just not the right shape.

So we gave up and went out to bike the Capitol City Trail. Oddly enough, we spotted the same animal by the side of the bike path. Like the creature in the video, it's dead, but its fur and skin were intact. Help us identify it. Photos after the jump:


DSC01229

DSC01233

DSC01234

58 comments:

pakurilecz said...

looks like a mink

http://bit.ly/gDh9q5

Lincolntf said...

I was thinking mink, too. The black nose/white mouth area seems a little weird, though. Time to go Google.

m stone said...

Could it be a (gasp) badger???

Maguro said...

Polecat.

john lichtenstein said...

I hope the two dead whatevers were not poisoned. Cause then the bird is poisoned too.

Bob said...

Looks like a democrat to me.

Lincolntf said...

Maybe an American Marten?

pakurilecz said...

nothing unusual about the white goatee here is an image of a mink with one
http://dnr.state.il.us/ORC/Wildlife/virtual_news/images/mink/mink_near_water.jpg

Lincolntf said...

Yup, just looked at the mink ID page. Never knew they had a white patch.

deborah said...

I guessed marten (well, actually, martin) and pics seem to confirm pine marten:

http://www.google.com/search?um=1&hl=en&rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-us%3AIE-SearchBox&rlz=1I7TSNA_enUS360US360&biw=1341&bih=486&site=search&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=marten+weasel+family&aq=1sx&aqi=g-s1g-sx1g-msx1&aql=&oq=martin+weasel

MarkG said...

Looks like a mink

The mink link shows the black tail. Another photo I saw showed the light chin.

Coketown said...

CSI: Madison

Franklin said...

Brian Jacques would know.

peter hoh said...

On the way home from church, I saw a hawk flying with something in its mouth -- most likely a mouse -- but there was no getting closer.

As for Meade's video, tough to say. I was thinking squirrel, but the tail doesn't look right. Maybe a weasel?

traditionalguy said...

It may be an Orlando Magic mascot. Hawks love to eat them.

peter hoh said...

Are there stoats in Madison?

Lincolntf said...

It's odd that Meadehouse saw two critters of the same species, both dead, on the same day. That the locals don't immediately recognize it makes it even stranger. You guys have any PETA/ELF-types opening cages on campus these days? Maybe a "fur farm" with a damaged fence?

Karl said...

Nice marmot!

This year's January in SE Wisconsin:
For over 30 minutes we watched a Red Tail eat every bite of a mourning dove caught dining at our back yard bird feeder. This is a diner where all are welcome - including predators.
We didn't see the kill, but the thorough consumption of all edibles made us think of a Ruhlman book.

wv: sucte. Sucks te be eaten alive.

galdosiana said...

Ok, looking at these photos, it's definitely a mink. The white spot under the chin and the black tail tip are the giveaways.

Lincolntf said...

I think I should have my easy chair upholstered in 100% mink chin.

David said...

Mink.

Oh, Meade, you shouldn't have.

David said...

Marmot?

A Marmot is just a fancy squirrel.

Plus I don't think there are Marmot in Wisconsin--not in the wild at least.

Definitely not a Badger.

No hawk is going to risk a tangle with a badger.

Do you suppose Meade's tree fell on the little critters?

deborah said...

A la Emily Litella: never mind.

I think the people who said mink are probably correct.

Titus said...

I went to my parents cottage on Lake Delton today and saw a black cat with a swallow in it's mouth. The cat let it go and the swallow flew away.

We put the pier in today.

I wore these rubber boots that went to my breasts.

garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

Those are called waders, Titus.

put our pontoon on Waubesa yesterday, life is good.

The mystery dead animal looks to be definitely a mink. Surprised that hawk couldnt pick it up.

Titus said...

I saw over 50 white tail deer.

There were a group of three, a mom and her two babes. Right by the side of the road. She went across the road but the babes would follow her so she ran back across the road to be with them.

I would of loved to shoot them and have some good bambi deer sausage.

Karl said...

I suppose in Madison, Marmot is a line of overpriced clothing.

In the rest of the world, it's a critter with a white face area.

This dead thing could be a mink. But I thought they were tough & fought to the death. This guy look kinda unscathed.

Google mink & marmot images.

I heard that my tax money supports some DNA thing at UW. I request a proper identification.

Jay said...

Mink. I know because I shot one today when it got into my chicken coop.

Irene said...

David said, "Mink.

Oh, Meade, you shouldn't have."

Hahahahahaha!

Coketown said...

The face looked like a ferret's, so I at once inquired into the nature of ferrets and found they are in the same family as weasels and minks. From there I discovered that the deceased creature is, in fact, an American mink. You could probably fashion a stunning glove out of it.

Karl said...

Can't we all just get along?
Let us compromise.

It's a Merkin.

Coketown said...

Incidentally, the American mink is causing a huge decline in water vole in England, contributing to a problem that costs England £2bn a year!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1022484/Invasion-foreign-flowers-plants-costing-Britain-2billion-year.html

The main picture shows the culprit, complete with white tuft under chin and black tail.

BJM said...

@Karl

Nice Ruhlman reference!

Karl said...

Well the 10:41 Coketown post rocks my boat.

Grey squirrels from the New World are ruining the eco-balance in Britain!

Of all things.

Thought these rascals were a euro-import. Along with the non-sparrow "English Sparrow"

Karl said...

mmm yummy roasted veal bones simmering all day with mirepoix to create tasty base for future dinners.

As we (WI) are (is) a dairy state, may as well utilize the cast off bull calves.

I ate today's dry-ass spiral cut ham with a smile. Mi familia no like weird tasty shit.

Coldstream said...

American Mink.

Certainly no badger or otter. Looks too stout, the tail seems wrong and coloration off for the various weasels. I don't believe American (Pine) Martens are found often in Wisconsin, if my field guide to North American mammals is to be believed, so finding two that close would be surprising.

Anyway, next time set some item next to the corpse for size comparisons: sunglasses, car keys, something of Meade's, etc...

A bit odd, two mink dead that close to each other. Didn't see blood or any serious-looking injuries in those pictures. Kind of makes me suspect disease or foul play (ie poison or some other toxic substance)...

Jason (the commenter) said...

It kind of looks like a mink, but obviously it isn't. Where's the read paint?

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Slow news day?

ID'ing animal carcasses may be similar to examining election results but...

enicar333 said...

Wisconsin was nicknamed "The Badger State" because of the lead miners and how they would burrow into the hillsides, not because of a proliferation of Badgers. Badgers are actually rare in Wisconsin.
http://www.netstate.com/states/intro/wi_intro.htm

Hopefully some of our local hawks get busy eating the grey squirrels in my backyard. I'm feeding 7, so there should be babies soon. Feast for the local Foxes, Coyotes and Hawks. The squirrels love sunflower seeds, which are cheap in bulk, and they are fun to watch. Here is a fun squirrel page, I copied the designs and made my own feeders.
http://birdsforever.com/squirrelfeeders.html

Browndog said...

It's a mink.

Amature taxidermy project of mine a couple years ago-

Glad to see them making a comeback throughout the upper Mid-West.

Big Mike said...

Well, hawks certainly do take kids' pets.

Rick Lee said...

I also had a red-tail eat a mourning dove in my backyard and truly, all that was left was a pile of grey feathers.

Big Mike said...

FWIW, my first thought was a ferret. Fortunately not the endangered black-footed variety.

Henry said...

Was it eating Prometheus' liver?

Simon Kenton said...

Mink.

If you are going to show photos for identification purposes, please include something for scale. Ruler, pen, the geology hammer you take on your walks, the concealed .45 that Meade carries.

Robin said...

Too skinny for marmot or woodchuck.

Tully said...

Mississippi Valley mink.

Triangle Man said...

I don't believe American (Pine) Martens are found often in Wisconsin, if my field guide to North American mammals is to be believed, so finding two that close would be surprising.

Martens are endangered and found only in small numbers in the north woods of Wisconsin.

Triangle Man said...

I suppose in Madison, Marmot is a line of overpriced clothing.

In the rest of the world, it's a critter with a white face area.


Out west your fancy critters are called marmots. In Wisconsin we call them woodchucks.

carrie said...

American Fisher?

BEK477 said...

Ann, Is anyone missing a pet ferret? Or weasel? Or marten?

edutcher said...

Meade's supposed to know this stuff.

All this time Ann had us thinking Meade was the next evolution of such worthy frontiersmen as Davy Crockett and Kit Carson.

Ah, well, newlyweds...

Karl said...

Can't we all just get along?
Let us compromise.

It's a Merkin.


If it was worn by Evan Rachel Wood, it might be worth something.

Michael K said...

Up here in the San Bernardino Mountains the grey squirrels were killed off by west nile virus. I miss them. There used to be tons of them eating the pine cones and the acorns. Now the ground is covered with acorns and no squirrels.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

@Michael K

"Up here in the San Bernardino Mountains the grey squirrels were killed off by west nile virus. I miss them. There used to be tons of them eating the pine cones and the acorns. Now the ground is covered with acorns and no squirrels."

You can have all the 'tree rats' that you can carry from NY state Michael, if you wish to restock.

They are plentiful and quite a nuisance. Given the opportunity, they will chew their way into your home, nest, and do all kinds of damage. And, they aren't easy to get rid of.

We shoot 'em all the time but they keep coming.

No Name said...

that's a Northern Snipe

TLM said...

"Maybe a "fur farm" with a damaged fence?"

Finding two dead mink in a short time period raises the spectre of Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy (TME), a prion disease related to so called Mad Cow disease. TME is found in farmed mink.

You might want to contact state wildlife officials.

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