Saturday, October 9, 2010


Guinea Roosting in coop
While away from home for few days, the predator showed up again.  Yes, this is not the first time it has been here.  I fear it has hunted here many times this past summer, however the first visit that I am aware of was just a weeks back. It came in on the setting sun.  The dark sky is its camouflage.  When hunting there is not a sounds, or a whisper, no not  a clue its afoot. Just the after math the following day, where one finds the feathers and wings of  the butchered bird laying about in the yard.  My guineas have been slowly disappearing, though I figured on a few losses throughout the summer as they were growing up and free ranging about the property, but I didn't expect so many.  They roost in a tall pine tree that stands next to the coop where the chicken roost at night. In the past few weeks at least four more of the guineas are now gone.  Dinner for some predator of the night!

As I pulled into the yard yesterday evening, I spotted a wing laying in the middle of the yard, between outbuildings.  Concerned, I scouted about the yard and the coop area, where I found more feathers.  A quick count of the guineas revealed two more were missing.  I suspected an owl, but I've only heard one this past spring and have spotted not a one.  After feeding the chickens, guineas and geese, the guineas did not head for their normal roost in the big pine, but rather into the coop with the chickens.  Did they understand that the tree is now dangerous, since it has become the hunting grounds of an owl.   Yes, I am guessing the predator is an owl.  A hunter of the night like no other... the clues are many; totally eaten birds, fur and feather pellets at the base of the telephone pole in the yard, no foot prints other than the chickens, guineas and geese and all killings are a night.  Then last night the most solid evidence was witnessed.   An Owl in the pines that tower of the house... hooting just after the fall of the sun.  There are number of owls that are in this area; the Great Horned, Grey Gray, and the Barred Owl. All are big enough to take a chicken or guinea, but they will leave the geese alone.  The hooting call that I heard was that of the Great Horned Owl.   This morning I went out the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website to confirm the call.. and indeed it was the Great Horned Owl.  Now, I don't have any images of this owl to share with, so here is a link to see an image and call of the owl... click me!


  1. A fascinating and informative post. I am sorry I wasn't a better babysitter, but to be honest, I am not sure what I could have done to prevent the owl kill...

  2. You couldn't have stopped the owl! I am just hoping that the guineas now understand the tree is danger. As you know the last two nights, the guineas roosted inside with the chickens.