This Bernal Resident Ate a Mouse For Lunch

I have a mouse and you don't

While we’re on the subject of birds, Dyche captured some fantastic photos of a Bernal Heights resident enjoying a free-range protein snack last weekend. Hearty!

Let’s zoom in:

UPDATE: There’s been some debate within the Ornithologist Committee over the question of whether this hungry bird is a Sparrow Hawk or an American Kestrel. The answer, apparently, is: Yes.  Reader Jeff explains:

The American Ornithologists Union has officially recognized American Kestrel as the name instead of American Sparrow Hawk since 1983. In reality, the Kestrel got its colloquial name because it hunts sparrows; the bird itself is actually from the falcon family.

PHOTOS: Dyche


8 thoughts on “This Bernal Resident Ate a Mouse For Lunch

  1. Pretty sure that’s an American Kestrel. A pair has inhabited a neighbor’s tree annually for the past couple of years — when they show up, it’s a sure sign of spring!

  2. That is very nice shot! @carol – yes they are used interchangeably, but that is not entirely accurate. The American Ornithologists Union has officially recognized American Kestrel as the name instead of American Sparrow Hawk since 1983. In reality, the Kestrel got its colloquial name because it hunts sparrows; the bird itself is actually from the falcon family. Either way, they are beautiful birds – love the vertical stripes on the head. I watched a white-tailed kite devour a mouse through a birding telescope once and, while it was a gruesome sight, it was tough to tear your eyes away.

  3. I watched this guy’s girlfriend devour this mouse sitting in the top of a tree across the street. I have to say she made it look pretty yummy.

  4. Now that the bird’s species has been determined, I’d like to weigh in with my opinion that the size and shape suggest rat, not mouse.

  5. I think it may actually be a little mole. It’s head is shaped a bit funny to be either a mouse or a rat. I have run across little moles in Golden Gate Park (usually being harassed by freaked out dogs) but I haven’t seen any around Bernal Heights.

  6. I think you may be right. The snout’s too pointy for gopher, and the shortish tail suggests vole. Also, it appears to have a penis, but the testicles are too small for a rat. Good grief, how has my life come to this?

    • Vole is probably right. As I recall, rats’ testicles are bigger than their brains. Excellent work. We should pitch a TV show called “Wildlife CSI: Bernal Heights”.

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