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Well, it wasn't Zombies Juggling Chainsaws..,

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  • Wanderosa
    started a topic Well, it wasn't Zombies Juggling Chainsaws..,

    Well, it wasn't Zombies Juggling Chainsaws..,

    ...but grackles and chickadees murdering bats in the indoor arena while we tried to school! The gelding was in the zone and so relaxed that I didn't think much of the birds swooping back and forth at the far side of the arena and thought it was just the chickadees guarding their nests from the big birds. It wasn't until we trotted down the diagonal that I spotted a strange object right in front of K that I realized they'd actually teamed up in a bloodthirsty frenzy to kill a bat! And were starting in after a second :0

    I decided that was good enough for one day and we quickly vacated the Alfred Hitchcock Memorial Arena. :0

  • Belowthesalt
    replied
    A large tree abuts one of my instructor's arenas, and the squirrels leap from the tree and run along the top board of the arena. They always seemed to time it to land just as I trotted by. Kamikazi squirrels! My 1,300 pound horse was TERRIFIED!!

    At this new barn, my guy has (for the most part) learned to cope with (a) two coops of chickens and ducks right next to the arena; (b) large flocks of courting, and therefore noisy, wild turkeys, (c) said turkeys taking shortcuts THROUGH the covered arena, and (d) deer rearing up to browse on the trees right next to the arena.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wanderosa
    replied
    Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
    As a biologist ... I really want to camp out in your Arena of Avian Malfeasance. Now that the hawk has avenged the poor bat, will angry nuthatches seek penitence for the chickadees? Will the hawk stand guard over a Shelter For Oppressed Bats? Anything seems possible!
    Come! I've raised a few thousand chickens and turkeys over the years and am usually ok with the fact birds are crazed velociraptors. A sweet, earnest-faced young soccer mom at a farm market once asked if our chickens ate a vegetarian diet. I explained that they ate a locally sourced, non-GMO feed that didn't contain animal protein. But that the chickens free ranged and like most birds, loved to catch and eat bugs and worms. I thought she might faint. :0

    One of the boarders told me that she had dismounted and picked up the bat by the tip of it's wing and moved it so it wouldn't get stepped on. She hadn't been able to tell if it was alive or not.

    Leave a comment:


  • wildlifer
    replied
    As a biologist ... I really want to camp out in your Arena of Avian Malfeasance. Now that the hawk has avenged the poor bat, will angry nuthatches seek penitence for the chickadees? Will the hawk stand guard over a Shelter For Oppressed Bats? Anything seems possible!

    Leave a comment:


  • Wanderosa
    replied
    In an unexpected twist, a Cooper's hawk has taken up residence and is kicking avian butt in the Alfred Hitchcock Memorial Arena. Judging from the pile of feathers and pigeon parts, the hawk is winning. 😶

    Leave a comment:


  • Tyrus' Mom
    replied
    Can you send that owl to our ranch? Too many of those flying rats around here!

    Leave a comment:


  • shortenmyreins
    replied
    We tend to have a few pigeons that like to hang out in the rafters of our indoor, including over the very cold winters. The horses hate them - they hate the flapping over their head, flapping in the vents, and flapping up from the ground suddenly as you ride past.

    Two winters ago we had an owl move in for a week. By the end of the week - no pigeons. Only pigeon pieces.

    It was pretty cool riding around and seeing the owl's shadow as he flew above you - silently, of course. He apparently got pretty brave by the end of the week and was flying just above the height of the jump standards while some people were riding.

    Leave a comment:


  • atr
    replied
    Tyrus' Mom, I experienced the Painted Lady migration here in Utah last week. It was a unique and very cool thing!

    Leave a comment:


  • Tyrus' Mom
    replied
    Well, we are currently having a storm of butterflies here in my area. Everywhere you go there are butterflies. Thousands of them... all around when riding (which is super cool) and then in the roadway too while driving. I suspect all the rain we got this season influenced the grasses and flowers in the hills and that might have something to do with it. Never seen so many before. Even when we made a trip to Las Vegas last weekend, I saw some in the desert when we stopped to let the Chi go potty. Butterflies in the freaking desert! Crazy!

    Leave a comment:


  • Wanderosa
    replied
    Originally posted by merrygoround View Post

    I'd like to make note, that those bats are far more useful than any grackle that lived.
    I agree. Bats are great. The whole thing was pretty crazy. I'm puzzled about where the grackles even came from. The chickadees I often see sitting in the arena windows, though they aren't what I think of as a species that nests in barn areas. But grackles? Never. Why were the bats out when it was still broad daylight, too? Nature is creeeepy 😱

    Leave a comment:


  • merrygoround
    replied
    Originally posted by Wanderosa View Post
    ...but grackles and chickadees murdering bats in the indoor arena while we tried to school! The gelding was in the zone and so relaxed that I didn't think much of the birds swooping back and forth at the far side of the arena and thought it was just the chickadees guarding their nests from the big birds. It wasn't until we trotted down the diagonal that I spotted a strange object right in front of K that I realized they'd actually teamed up in a bloodthirsty frenzy to kill a bat! And were starting in after a second :0

    I decided that was good enough for one day and we quickly vacated the Alfred Hitchcock Memorial Arena. :0
    I'd like to make note, that those bats are far more useful than any grackle that lived.

    Leave a comment:


  • KBC
    replied
    Schooling my still very new to me TB the other day, trying to get a presentable 10m circle, when there is a flurry of activity and barn cat appears hot on the heels of a mouse, said mouse does not like the look of the expanse of arena, takes a jig and cat catches it...all under the feet of my totally unfazed angel of a horse. He ignored the whole thing and just kept rocking.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rackonteur
    replied
    Originally posted by Kyrabee View Post
    My mare does not like birds...it really doesn't matter if they are 2 inches or 2 feet.
    One day I went to ride in the arena and there was a hub-bub at the far end. A fledgling robin had fallen from the nest right near a killdeer nest that had one tiiinny chick. The robin parents were trying to defend the robin baby and the killdeer were rightfully defending their dinky chick. Freaked my horse out. We just avoided that end of the arena.

    The next day the robins were gone but the killdeer chick was strutting around the arena. All that activity the day before for a 2 inch tall bird.



    Susan
    I don't get that last statement. Why would you think a 2" bird is any less important that, say, a 5' person or a 16h horse? Could you have picked up the fledgling and reached to return him to his nest?

    Leave a comment:


  • Wanderosa
    replied
    Originally posted by PintoPony View Post
    I didn't know birds of different species would work together to kill anything, let alone a bat!
    Nor did I! It was pretty creepy once I figured out what was going on.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kyrabee
    replied
    My mare does not like birds...it really doesn't matter if they are 2 inches or 2 feet.
    One day I went to ride in the arena and there was a hub-bub at the far end. A fledgling robin had fallen from the nest right near a killdeer nest that had one tiiinny chick. The robin parents were trying to defend the robin baby and the killdeer were rightfully defending their dinky chick. Freaked my horse out. We just avoided that end of the arena.

    The next day the robins were gone but the killdeer chick was strutting around the arena. All that activity the day before for a 2 inch tall bird.

    She has gotten better about the birds in the last couple of years. She should...she is turning 17 this month and no velociraptors have attacked yet. 'Raptors is what she would have you thinking was hiding in the bushes.

    Susan

    Leave a comment:


  • slp2
    replied
    we quickly vacated the Alfred Hitchcock Memorial Arena. :0


    Wow. that is bizarre! We currently have a pair of sandhill cranes that are very close by (and vocal) when I am riding in the outdoor arena this past week. They probably have a nest nearby---although it's in the horse pasture, so that seems like a poor choice! Anyway---they are cool birds, but large, and loud. And the sounds they make, you'd think they are evolved from Pterodactyls! Anyway--my mare *did* notice them---but kept working. Though at one point she did get a little anxious about their antics and when we were cantering to "X" (on a diagonal) I asked for the trot and she did a flying change (which is well above her current abilities). It wasn't a beautiful change---more like a T-Rex "swap" but it was clean. She just wanted to get away from those birds and decided the trot was not going to cut it.

    Leave a comment:


  • PintoPony
    replied
    I didn't know birds of different species would work together to kill anything, let alone a bat!

    Leave a comment:


  • MissAriel
    replied
    During my lesson today a great heron buzzed the arena and started hunting on the hill behind the arena. I’m not sure what it grabbed, but it ate something!

    i had no ideas birds attacked and ate bats!

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparrowette
    replied
    When I saw the header, my first thought was that it was another one about the Derby..

    Leave a comment:

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