We have an ermine that lives in the vicinity of our firewood pile and has been hanging around for the last two years. These guys are excellent hunters and work to keep our ground squirrels and tree squirrels in check.
Last evening we observed an American Kestrel land on the front deck. These used to be called sparrow hawks. That would explain the feathers on the ground in places as these small falcons will eat other birds.
We have heard owls but they are hard to spot and we rarely see them. They will eat rabbits, chipmunks and squirrels. Our rodent population has dwindled considerably and we have not seen as many as we had previously. I fret because the rodents can devastate our garden if they can get into our garden boxes but it seems when they get numerous the predators move in and keep their balance in check. We had numerous rabbits and chipmunks as well as squirrels and now they are scarce and the one's we do see are always on the move.
Nature has a perfect way to achieve balance and we are now in the controlled balance phase. Soon there will be little for the predators to feed upon and they will move to more fertile areas but right now we are observing nature at its best in keeping balance.
We are concerned over our little hummingbird - Henrietta and also the fly catchers that have built their nest on top of our electrical box but we will not interfere with nature. We would be saddened if either were claimed by predators but that is simply the cycle of things and nature will have to take its course.