Monday, 23 January 2017

Wrongfully Accused

In my previous post, I pointed an accusatory finger at a coyote as the chief suspect in the sudden disappearance of feral tom cat, Ginger Tom. I was wrong. My sincere apologies to the coyote, to his family and to his friends for any embarrassment I may have caused.

When I returned from a grocery run this morning, what did I behold? Sitting on my deck was the missing Ginger Tom. He appeared unharmed and in fact, was not even very hungry after his absence of almost a week. What was I thinking? I've seen this orange tabby in the neighbourhood for quite a few years. Sometimes he would be hunting in a field and sometimes he would be sitting a couple of miles away in a ditch, waiting patiently for a mouse. There are nearby dairy farms where he can likely score a dish of milk. His territory takes in miles and I'm sure he also looks for opportunities to pass on his genes. Ginger Tom has been around the block more than a few times and is nobody's fool.

Where have I been? That's for me to know!

You don't own me, lady, and yes, I'm a man of mystery!

Also being accused--rightly or wrongly--is my roost box visiting screech owl. As it tries to get some shut-eye before it's nightshift of hunting begins, neighbouring birds gather and hurl screams of, "Murderer, murderer, murderer!!" 

The screech owl was using a roost box and trying for a little sunbath.

But local bluejays had formed a mob and were intent on an eviction.

Come on out of there you low-down varmint! Your kind ain't welcome here!


  1. Ginger Tom home again. What a relief, and big happiness at your home again. We had a stray, he was ginger, a bit darker than yours, and we called him Tom.He would be away for days, or sometimes a few weeks, and pop in as though to say " I have NO idea why you worry, I always come back". Yours is so gorgeous, and what a photo in the snow.The box, is it for the owl of other birds? They are not happy at all.

    1. Thanks for your wisdom, Jean. Yes, toms will be toms and as you can see Ginger Tom certainly has not lost any of his girth. I built two boxes specifically for screech owls, hoping they might nest in them. So far they have not, likely preferring a more secluded location in a hollow tree somewhere. But they do use them throughout the winter for roosting safely away from bigger birds of prey and as a refuge from the harassment of smaller birds. Last summer the above box fledged a family of nuthatches. All are welcome and treasured!

  2. I had to smile throughout your post, Florence. I thought G.T. might have just gone 'walk about'as wild cats are want to do. He looks quite smug there not sharing any secrets like where he's been or what he's been up to. I found it fascinating to see your assembly of blue jays; they certainly seem to be objecting to your visiting owl. And my I love seeing him; thanks so much for these photos.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Jocelyn. I feel a bit foolish now that I see no foul deed was committed -- at least on the coyote's part. Watching what goes on outside is my version of a reality show. Part drama, part comedy. I had not seen so many bluejays in one place before. I occasionally see bluejay feathers on the ground -- evidence of someone, perhaps a hawk, leaving part of it's meal wrapper behind. Oddly, while I have up to a dozen jays feeding here at a time, my brother in Ottawa has seen only one in his yard this winter.

  3. So glad Ginger Tom showed up. One of our strays was gone for six weeks and then sauntered into the house one morning. No idea where she had been.
    Wonderful photos of the Blue Jays and Screech Owl. This is our first winter in out new home and I haven't seen too many Blue Jays around.

  4. Ah, there you go. Good old Buster disappeared for two days, as I recall. He went for miles.
    Good for you to send regrets to the coyotes! I find Daisy is very aware of things in the forest and goes for the trees right away. We have fox tracks and coyote these days. (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!


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