What a great day for a walk! So what are you waiting for?
Dear Gary: I have a puzzling question.
Two or three days ago my dogs discovered a dead squirrel behind a big cypress tree in the backyard. I decided to wait to get rid of it until today (Sunday) because garbage day is Monday.
When I went outside to shovel it up, it was gone! Completely gone: no skin, bones or anything anywhere in the yard! I know it was dead because it was on its back and in the exact same place every time I looked at it. I assume it was some kind of scavenging bird, but what?
To my knowledge there aren't any large scavengers in my neighborhood other than crows, but would they be strong enough to carry off a squirrel?
Anyway, I was happy because the poor squirrel obviously fed something, and I didn't have to get rid of it!
Dear Peggy: We have many wild visitors to our Bay Area backyards (especially at night) that might drag off the carcass of a dead squirrel and eat it someplace else. They include: raccoons, foxes, skunks, opossums, coyotes and turkey vultures.
Dear Gary: Last year we had a mallard duck nesting in our front yard -- the first time since living in the house for 16 years. The duck had
This year we found a duck nesting in our backyard. I'm assuming it was the same duck. This duck produced 12 ducklings, and as much as I enjoyed watching them, I opened our back gate and at some point they were gone.
Well, about three weeks later I saw another duck in our backyard. And it started nesting in the exact same spot as the previous duck. On top of the same nest! (We never removed the prior nest.)
I assume it is a different duck because I read they only lay eggs once a year. Do ducks talk to each other? How would this one know about the nesting spot?
Dear Laurie: I suspect your new duck was one of last year's ducklings, now grown up. A duck will often return to raise its own family on or near the same spot where it hatched the previous year.
Contact Gary Bogue at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write Gary at P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA, 94596.