So sorry for the photo as well as the lighting. The color is more vibrant.
Yesterday, I arrived home from walking to get my kids from the bus after school. In the 10 minutes I was gone, I had a birds wing on my door step when I returned. Today after dropping my kids off at the bus this morning, I had another (the opposite side) wing on my door step. The wings are the size of my hand from tip of my middle finger to my wrist. The big one is from this morning. Where the feathers are curled is where it was slightly frozen to my door step (2 inches away from my actual door).
From what I can tell from google, this is a northern flicker, probably yellow shafted but definitely some orange in it in person, but I wanted to be sure as this took me completely off guard. I have no stray cats in this area, one in 7 years and he passed away this summer. No tearing, no teeth or claw marks and looks like an even break at the base of the wing.
Any idea what could've happened here?
I think it is from a Norther Flicker, "yellow shafted" form (as opposed to the "red-shafted we have here) . They are a Woodpecker with either red or yellow color visible under wings when flying. The outside of wing feathers are barred, that is what you see when they are at rest.
Being left on the doorstep sounds like a cat - maybe your neighbor has one? If you are sure it isn't a cat, then is there somewhere to perch over your doorstep that might be handy for a hawk or owl?
Definitely not a cat. Mine have been in the house and the only stray I've seen in the 7 years living here unfortunately passed away this summer. We have a lot of cougars, coyotes, fox, bob cats, etc who tend to take keep the stray population at bay. I can watch the cougars in the field across the street from my house, it's beautiful!
Something odd to add, this morning, there was an entire head on my doorstep. It doesn't look like a Northern Flicker. It has black feathers on the top of its head and neck, bright red at the base of the throat, and a lightish brown color on the face surrounding the beak. It also has a slender beak about 2.5 inches long.
I apologize, I had thrown it in the garbage and the dog ended up getting it out of the garbage.
I think the red may just be blood stain.
I'll also add it snowed last night. No tracks in the snow at all. Also, possibly because it was partially frozen, but it seemed to still be bleeding.
The red is genuine, males can have a red streak there - though interestingly, yours has it part-red, part-black, which fits best for an intergrade between Yellow-shafted (all-black, no red) and Red-shafted (fully red).