[Tweeters] mysterious deaths of 6 Belted Kingfishers

John Raymond plutofido2012 at live.com
Sat Jun 22 23:44:44 PDT 2013

6 dead Belted Kingfishers.
Today I was hiking some logging roads in Grays Harbor County near Montesano when I came upon a very sad scene. In very close proximity there were 6 dead Belted Kingfishers. It appeared that 5 were dumped in the ditch and 1 sat a tad higher on a roadcut. All within a few feet. They were large and appeared fully fledged.
Sitting at the scene it was very apparent that some of the ilks that frequent the area that often leave dead poached animals and remains had killed these birds and dumped them. As I took some photos of the scene I saw that in the flat, vertical soft orange clay/dirt bank that there were two cavities right above the dead birds about 8-10 feet above.
It dawned on me that the birds must have tumbled down from the apparent nest holes. Although access would be very tough- there is a branch close, it seemed likely a predator killed the lot. Weasel/Martin/Fisher/Mink? There is a stream on the steep slopes below making it a nice environment for the birds to hunt, and there is not alot of traffic on these roads so wildlife have alot of room to roam safely.
The puzzling thing, I suppose, is that the birds looked fully able to fly-were they just becoming fledglings and did they return and sleep in the nest cavity? What else could possible kill and seemingly waste other than the notorious weasel-family's record of rampage that has been noted often. Don't think a Raccoon could have easily accessed the area-though they are never overlooked.

Photos below-poor quality on from my cellphone.



Input appreciated on this sad discovery.

John Raymond
Brady Loop Rd, WA

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