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Discourage eagles from eating ducks  RSS feed

 
Laurent Voulzy
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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?
 
Marissa Creston
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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?
 
Nicole Alderman
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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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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.
 
Kyle Neath
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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.
 
Virginia Ratliff
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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.
 
Lorinne Anderson
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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.
 
Olga Booker
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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
 
Libbie Hawker
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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
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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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