"Look! Something caught a rabbit!"
While I was bent trying to focus on the fur (proud of myself for spotting something so well-camouflaged and so small), my husband got the bigger picture.
"The rest of him's over here."
"Did he escape, but get mortally wounded? Did he just crawl over there to die?" (Latent detective tendencies in high gear!)
"Well, probably not. His head is missing."
Had we blundered up and scared a predator away in mid-snack? Hubby moved the carcass a little, and it was stiff. So, no.
Jasmine discovered some strewn rabbit guts, and happily gobbled up several bits before we noticed and tugged her away. Yuck, Jasmine.
On down the path, I had an idea. "Hey, let's get the game cam and put it there, to see if any critter comes back later to finish his dinner." (Latent detective tendencies on fire!)
I'd been moaning about moving the camera for some time now. We were not getting anything interesting where it had been stationed for the past several months.
While hubby was setting up the camera, I found more evidence.
"Maybe if I put this on the blog, a bird expert could tell me what type of bird this feather came from..."
OK, so a raptor (owl? buteo? accipiter?) was probably not going to come back to finish off the rabbit, but surely we'd get some cool wildlife shot of hungry scavengers.
But I really should have known better.
The only one who came back to finish anything was Jasmine.
If you want to see the Cottontail in full headless gory glory, you can click here. He's missing a portion of his side too. It's bloody. It's not for everybody.
On the feather, I was thinking "owl" but I really have no idea. (So if you do, please post a comment.) It seems similar to the photo on this page titled "Great Horned Owl feather". That would be cool, since we've never seen one here before.