I was told to move the question to this forum. I let my flock of 5 adult ducks out this morning as I do every day. When I got home around 4pm (before dark) I found my duck brownie dead cold and stiff with his head detached and laying there about 2 feet away, in a big messy pile of his small feathers. About 6 feet away I found a couple more of his feathers, but only larger ones. His broodmate, Daisy, lost a few feathers and had a bloody bill, and is freaked out, but otherwise seems okay.
What predator does this??? It must have happened in full daylight, at least an hour or two before dusk. The head was torn off, feathers everywhere, but the body was otherwise intact... nothing else was missing and the rest of the body was not torn. Whatever it was, it attacked the other duck too.
Daytime predators as far as I know are mostly dogs, cats, coyotes, and hawks... but none of those three fit the details... thanks for your help guys
edit: I'm in eastern PA area
I'm trying to figure this out. We may live close, I'm in the Lehigh Valley, too.) so I'm thinking of the predators in our area. I would tend to rule out what comes at night, but that still leaves, dog, coyote (You have coyotes, where? That's freaking me out.), fox. Owls, raccoons, possums tend to be night time killers although the MO could be possum or raccoon. Are weasels out during the day?
Coyotes and foxes should carry the body away (You might see a trail of feathers especially if the bird is dragged at all.) For a rapture hit you could see a large pile of feathers.
This fall a hawk got a California grey. My husband was right there and couldn't save her but the hawk failed to be able to pick her up. There was a big pile of feathers (She got trapped by the fence.) and her head was really mangled from just the one hit.
Sometimes a hawk can pick up a small chicken or bantam and carry it away with no trace but then it comes in for a lift off, not a hit. Would really like to find out what did this.
Edited by dekel18042 - 1/23/17 at 7:09am