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February 4, 2013 / viewsfromasmallisland

Nature’s Pantry

Nature's pantry


I came across this little scene which at first glance you might think is one of snails sheltering from the cold.  However, on closer inspection it became clear it was a well stocked  bird’s  pantry, probably a song thrush.  I could easily imagine it excitedly stashing the snails.  Quite a feast.  I love coming across these little signs of animal life.  Like a window into a secret world.



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  1. Margarita / Feb 4 2013 11:09 pm

    A veritable gourmand! 😉 xoM

  2. FeyGirl / Feb 5 2013 1:01 am

    What a wonderful find… I agree with you. 🙂

  3. northerndesert / Feb 5 2013 3:06 pm

    These little finds are such a treasure of information about the world around us.

  4. disperser / Feb 6 2013 5:02 am

    I feel bad for the snails . . . did you free them?

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Feb 6 2013 9:05 am

      Not sure if this comment is ‘tongue in cheek’ but it does raise a serious point about whether to interfere or not. A question I often ask myself when observing nature. For example, sparrowhawks are frequent (daily) visitors to my garden (yard), as are kestrels and owls, and buzzards are less frequent but regular visitors. I have asked myself if I should prevent them hunting on my patch? I have on occasion ‘interfered’ and felt guilty for denying the creature a meal. Predators have to eat too. So, my view is, I won’t interfere unless I see a creature suffering and then I will. It isn’t clear from the photo but around the tree the ground is covered by about a foot of snow. The thrush would be on the very edge of surviving. It doesn’t need me to come along and interfere. I have ‘rescued’ snails and plenty of other bugs, slugs, etc. under different circumstances though.

      • disperser / Feb 6 2013 1:58 pm

        Somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Primarily to bring small awareness at the fact that it’s not “so beautiful” for the snails. I only commented because not long ago I read a post (elsewhere) where people were remarking on the beauty of some snail shells.

        As a rule, I don’t interfere with anything out in the wild. I may “rescue” bugs from inside my home by throwing them outside (where they will likely become a meal) but it depends on how easy they make it. Some bugs just get killed.

        But to continue on the serious point . . . we already interfere by altering the environment. Creatures around us adapt. By providing an environment for birds to congregate, you change their behavior (both hunter and prey). It’s difficult to make a call if it’s good or bad; it just is.

        And yes . . . suffering is one of the triggers for getting involved, but we are interfering, and it’s not always clear if that’s more for our benefit than anything else. We can also interfere in unintended ways. I often throw out some scraps that look like might be getting eaten by a fox . . . who then has a better chance of surviving the winter, which then means I lessened the changes of survival for some other animal who will become a meal because that fox did not perish.

        Good? Bad? Who knows . . . but I do know it makes me feel better not wasting scraps, and possibly helping some animal . . . and I purposefully not think of the implications down the line.

      • viewsfromasmallisland / Feb 6 2013 2:48 pm

        Agreed. We interfere just by being and altering the balance around us. It can be a slippery slope though. I do think I have a responsibility to do what I can to limit/end suffering when I encounter it and if I am able. That may mean ‘helping’ or delivering the coup de grace when there’s no other option.

  5. disperser / Feb 6 2013 1:58 pm

    I should also add . . . it was a good find, and a nice capture.

  6. Gallivanta / Feb 8 2013 8:56 am

    Clever song thrush!

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