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Discourage eagles from eating ducks

 
Posts: 68
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I just ran after a bald eagle who tried taking off with one of my ducks. Second time in a week. Quite the physical training I must say I never knew I could run so fast. Eagle couldn't take off because duck too fat so it dropped it and the duck is fine, I washed off the blood off the small wound under the wing.

I love eagles and I also love ducks. I don't want to fence up the ducks. What's a good peaceful way to discourage eagles from eating the ducks?
 
Posts: 51
Location: Flathead, Montana
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Geese. (Of course, I think geese are the answer to everything.) That aside, how much cover do you have for your ducks?
 
master steward
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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My husband chased off an eagle that was trying to drown our duck in the pond. Thankfully the duck is okay. We have lots of places for ducks to hide (lots of salmonberry everywhere), but they just don't hide. They often look up, see a bird of prey, and just keep on doing their thing.

I'm hoping for eagle-deterring tips, too!
 
Marissa Creston
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Location: Flathead, Montana
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I never considered that! Talk about sitting ducks! My geese alarm at the first sight of a raptor (or the errant crow). The geese themselves stand their ground, but the ducks always run (or fly) and hide. I wonder what the difference is? Mine are mostly Swedish. And I've always let them free range.
 
gardener
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Location: Sierra Nevadas, CA 6400'
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Reminds me of one of my favorite podcasts — Planet Money's Eagles vs. Chickens.

Will goes through a number of things he tried to deter eagles with, it might be of use trying some of them. Unfortunately for him the solution was to offset his losses with eagle tourism. Eagles are incredibly smart and efficient predators. A lot of the traits we've bred ducks for (lack of flight, etc) go pretty contrary to survival against predators. If you've got eagles and you've got unprotected ducks, you're probably going to have eagles eating the ducks.
 
Posts: 44
Location: Bartow County GA
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I have a small backyard...not sure this would work for a large area...but I strung fishing line overhead to make sort of a spider web...that stopped the hawks from stealing my birds.
 
Posts: 93
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
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How are the ducks housed?  Is this a small area, large acreage with pond, field, fenced yard  Depending on what your situation is the solution will be different.

Guardian Dog or Geese are a good option if you want a living protector.  Netting overhead if it is a small yard that is fenced.  Bird scare tape (mylar prism strips) might be useful.  Ensure there are no nearby perching locations where the predator birds can sit and wait...
 
Laurent Voulzy
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:How are the ducks housed?  Is this a small area, large acreage with pond, field, fenced yard???  Depending on what your situation is the solution will be different.
Guardian Dog or Geese are a good option if you want a living protector.  Netting overhead if it is a small yard that is fenced.  Bird scare tape (mylar prism strips) might be useful.  Ensure there are no nearby perching locations where the predator birds can sit and wait...



I was thinking about a goose but this morning an eagle swooped in and grabbed a duck under the bush I had planted for protection. It started to fly away when it saw me. I caught up with it and we have a survivor. At this point the ducks are so PTSD, lost 3 in one night to Coyotes I presume, so I bought an electrofence, I'll set it as a narrow corridor for a while, see what happens.

The land is too vast for a spiderweb of wires and the neighbor tried that, eagle plopped right through it and ate ducks after ducks, in the pen - yes to efficiency, gruesome.

I've now seen them up close twice, the last one I chased this morning was nearly at arm's reach, magnificent animals. I want to find a more harmonious way to coexist with them.
 
Posts: 106
Location: Pyrenees Mountains, South of France
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Well, I don't know if that would work for eagles and ducks but it certainly worked for us with chickens and black vultures & buzzards.  We use a Great Pyrenean dog after loosing 18 birds in a short period of time. See: https://permies.com/t/53582/critters/Great-Pyrenees-worth

Our dog is not a pet and lives permanently with the chickens since he was a pup.  He has become so loyal to his flock that even when we take him out for a short walk, he is anxious to get back to his charge and runs to the gate waiting to be let in again. He is alert to any "unusual" sound the chickens make and we have seen him chasing birds of prey who were desperately trying to take flight.  We haven't lost a single bird since he arrived.  Anyway, that was a solution for us, but it might not be for you.  All the same, whatever you decide, I wish you good luck, it broke my heart every time I lost a bird.

If anyone is interested about black vultures: http://www.pyreneesbirding.co.uk/birds/Black-Vulture-_-Aegypius-monachus.html
 
Posts: 102
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
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Crows are the natural enemies of bald eagles. You can attract crows to your property--of course, then you've got the problem of crows mingling with your chickens, eating their feed, attacking your corn, etc. :/ But they will drive your eagles out of their territory, for sure. If you don't have crows in your area, you can attract other corvids--magpies, jays, etc.
 
Marissa Creston
Posts: 51
Location: Flathead, Montana
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Figures that after posting on this thread that I would have my first eagle attack I just lost a Blue Swedish duck to a pair of bald eagles. I saw them swoop in, and I ran over immediately, but it was already hopeless by the time I reached the scene. (I'll spare you the grisly details.) I think they may have been emboldened by a number of factors. First, we have had a lot of flooding this year so the ducks have been ranging out further and further. Thus, the ducks were far from cover. Second, none of the geese were out in the field with them; the geese have been brooding, so they spend most of the day on their nests with the ganders standing by on guard. Thus, the ducks had no protection. Third, none of the chickens were out in the field with them; they tend to return to the roost well before sunset and long before the ducks. Thus, the ducks had no alarm. And lastly, even though the sun had not yet set, it was already quite dark due to the thick cloud cover. Thus, the ducks may have had trouble spotting the eagles. At least, the rest of the flock made it to the pond in time. But I will be certain to put out some additional cover for them. And I will be sure to herd them back early.
 
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I live in northeast Ohio, and over the last two years, we have started having issues with golden eagles. We live in a suburban area and have raised two Ancona ducks for the last 9yrs. The eagles normally show up in February and terrorize us until April. In 2016 one of them swopped down and started eating my duck(she survived). This has given me severe PTSD. Whenever they look like they're closing in on our girls, we use loud noises to deter them from going in for the attack. Besides that, and putting myself between the eagles and the ducks, I haven't had much luck with anything else.
 
pollinator
Posts: 276
Location: Central Pennsylvania, USA
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So sorry to hear about your situation. We once lost our drake to a red-tailed hawk.

We live in a raptor haven, but we did something that has worked so far...

We put string, spaced about a foot apart, over the duck run. We used uv resistant nylon string, but have heard fishing line will work too. Imagine something that looks like a clothesline a person can walk under. My frame is roughly the same frame used for this diy trellis:
https://dengarden.com/gardening/How-to-Build-a-Simple-Trellis-for-a-Tomato-and-Vegetable-Garden

Apparently raptors think it is a net or trap they won't be able to get out of, so they won't fly in.

Hope that helps and knocking on wood it keeps working for me too 😉
 
Posts: 307
Location: Stone Garden Farm Richfield Twp., Ohio
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There is another very different solution than anybody has so far mentioned.

I tend to be a rather friendly person. So friendly I like to get along with everybody. One way I exercise this is that I tend to recognize little difference between Stones, Animals, Plants and Human. I talk with any of them regularly. ~~You don't use the same language when talking with Deer as a you do with a Standing Upright Person. It is a much different language when speaking with Stone People. But in mutually understandable language, we talk all the time. And we tend to get along because of it.

One thing I have found helpful when talking with anyone, is to be clear. I will say to spiders, "Outside is your home, I will not harm you there. But if you come into my home without asking first, the result may be very different." I say to snakes and coyotes, "My home, not your place." I'm quite serious about it. (I had a friend once who when out driving, stopped his car and shot and killed a coyote that was just standing in a field minding his own business. I never talked to that friend again.)

I make it clear to All that there are boundaries and borders. There is your place, and here is my place. And if you come into my place without asking, you may not like the result. But in your place, I will always step aside. So when it comes to particular birds or four leggeds or biters or creepers, I treat them all the same. I gave you fair warning. We talked about this. I told you what would happen. If you still want to aggress on my place and my people (be they my chickens, ducks, baby lambs, or my children), you will get no second warning. --Communication is a good thing. Making sure everybody understands that you mean it, is also good. ~~Or put another way, no matter who you are, "Eating my chicken will be your first and last chicken meal. You better think it's worth it." It works very well for me and All My Relations. Learn the language and it might work for you and them as well.
 
Posts: 97
Location: Frederick, MD zone7b
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We were having predator issues for a while thst decimated our flock a couple of times. For us it was foxes, racoons, and turkey vultures. I never knew that turkey vultures would drop out of the air and hunt live prey, but on our property they did. I guess the slow waddling duck was too juicy to resist.

Our whole system kind of evolved over time. A big part for us was getting the dogs to take notice of any hovering birds in the sky. Sometimes they go overboard in their excitement and bark too much. But, we havent had any air attacks in quite a long while. We also send the dogs barreling out anytime we spot a raptor in the air. The three dogs sound ferocious and make quite a racket.

The other thing that worked for us was changing where the ducks were from day to day. Their night pen was always the same, but the day pen would be in different locations. Now, we are only on 1/2 acre - but it does seem to have helped. They were allowed to range a lot more before and has most of the property at a time. By shrinking their daily forage area, it seems the predators arent so keen to investigate too much. Also to protect against ground predators we would pee around their pens. It works

We have a local bear that has been interested also. Luckily when that bear comes, it gets caught in the netting and fencing of their night pen and gets frustrated. For all predators, we try to make our property much more unappealing than the woods or even the neighbors property. Between fencing, netting, dogs, closing up gaps in fencing it seems to be working. We also don't have a deer problem in the yard, even though they are everywhere around us and the neighbors feed the deer.

Cheers
Bryan
 
Bryan Gold
Posts: 97
Location: Frederick, MD zone7b
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I forgot- we also added leonardo our scarecrow ninja turtle by woods. He made a big difference. So consider scare crows or something similar
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