I'm going to link to a graphic photo. If you love goldfinches and if you have a tough time with dead animals or are just a softy, please believe when I say to not follow the link. I have a few deadlines and I was tucked away at a coffee shop on Friday when I received this image as a text on my phone from an unrecognizable phone number asking if it was for real. At first, I was a tad taken aback. Why would someone send me dead birds to my phone...and in such a gross manner (and on my birthday too). Then I realized that it very well may have been a legit question.
One thing that has always amazed me is that when someone finds out that I'm a birder or have a rabbit as a pet, that is their cue to tell me the most horrific experience they have had with a bird or rabbit. I'm not sure what it is with rabbits--is it some kind of odd confession and they need you to clear their conscience? I really don't care that you went on vacation for a week, forgot to get a pet sitter and found your rabbit dead, or that you wanted to see what would happen if your rabbit met the neighbor's dog and then give a blow by blow description of the carnage, or of the awful tumors and growths they had--really, I don't want to hear it.
So, I wondered if this was someone I actually knew who found this grisly scene and had a question. So, I texted back, "Who is this?"
Turns out that the image came from a co-worker, Abby who was at Coon Rapids Dam and noticed the scene in the parking lot. At first, she thought it was some kind of odd grill ornament on the truck. It's not out of the realm of possibility, has anyone else seen those testicles that hang off the back of trucks? She asked if they were real. I told her that yes, that person had probably hit that pair of male and female goldfinches and probably had no idea the birds were wedged in their grill.
It is mating season for goldfinches and they are flying erratically. I'm sure this male was in hot pursuit of this female and both flew in front of the fast moving truck with a tragic end. When I was driving back from the beehives last week, I had several pairs of goldfinches pass in front of me on the country roads which I could have hit had I been going faster. All the more reason to keep our heads up and pay attention when on the road.