That's right. A big hawk - and it has a family.
Last winter, two of my Indian Runner ducks were torn a part in the middle of our yard.. I felt so horrible because it only takes a few seconds for this to happen! We were gone for about 30 minutes, and the thing had managed to kill one of my favorite ducks. It struck another time as well, and at the second time, we were angry. We have two dogs - but the temperatures get very low here, so we can't have them out all the time, or even if we're gone. Just before winter one of my hens went missing, too. It was near the end of fall, and I found some bones and feathers of her remains in a pile a little ways away from the scene of where both my ducks were killed.
Any ideas? I was thinking maybe decoys - like owls or larger birds, maybe dogs/foxes/bears, etc. I could set them around my house to try and spook the raptors, and move them every now and then.
I just know this thing will be back this winter, and I'd be extremely devastated if it went at my chickens and ducks again. It really irritated me. This summer we saw the same large hawk scanning our yard, and it had two more pals with it. This could be a severe episode if we don't get it figured out. Do decoys sound good? Are they efficient? Will the hawks be smart enough to just ignore them?
P.S This thing killed three of my neighbor's Guinea Hens as well. We found their carcasses in different parts of the yard - killed the same way. We know 100% that it's a hawk because my mom saw it literally on top of one of those dead ducks it caught and eating it. She scared it off of course, but the damage had already been done. RIP my two ducks; Smokey and Salt, and my hen, Kiwi.