Mayhem just off our side patio without us ever knowing.
Rat tracks coming out of a gap from our basement, sidles past the trunk of a locust and off into the yard. Going foraging in the tall weeds, I suppose, and then coming home..... Um.......
Did NOT make it home. Bushwhacked in the dark of night.
A swoop from behind (tail and feet touch snow) and a couple flapping hops...
A large feathered wing brushed here while Mr (or Mrs.) Owl mantled the catch and made sure he wasn't just merely dead, but really most sincerely dead.
Then he/she seems to have turned and hopped to the side and organized the catch for transit? Or just swallowed it mostly whole? There were just a few drops of blood and no fur so it either went down the hatch intact or was taken elsewhere.
At first I thought the owl had been sitting on top of the bobbed trunk of the locust tree but judging from the angle it flew in from I'm guessing he/she hunted from the top of the electric pole by the road instead. Still, I'm glad we left as much tree as we did since it also does make a good perch.
Thank you, good owl of the north, for ridding us of a basement rat!