When you find animal or egg remains remember they might have been scavenged after the initial kill – and not necessarily by the same species.
Most pest predators will scavenge, as will some of the predators native to New Zealand, such as kārearea (NZ falcon).
Scavenging is difficult to distinguish from the original kill sign so look nearby for other signs, such as footprints or droppings, that might help identify the predator or the scavenger. A scavenger may still be attracted to the corpse so keep an eye out for the animal itself.
Here is an example of scavenging.
Predated Paradise Duck Nest
A kāhu (swamp harrier) was seen flying up from the area of a paradise duck nest, where the remains of eggs were found. The kāhu is a bird of prey native to New Zealand that also scavenges carrion. There is no knowing whether or not the kāhu was the original predator or whether it was scavenging existing remains.
Pictured are the remains of the two eggs found and the new hole at the top of the nest.
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