Duck disappearance mystery

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Snipes, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. Snipes

    Snipes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2010
    I live in a suburb in Seattle, not at all out in the country. On Friday I was out all day and some time between the morning and dusk, one of my 3 ducks vanished. There are no traces of feathers anywhere. What makes me think it may possibly have not been a predator is two things: The boys have just filled out their feathers, including their flight feathers, and the one that disappeared has a greater tendency to use his wings, (though they use them so little I can't imagine he would have the muscles to get very far, and I would have thought him last to survive in an attack because he is the smartest, the quickest to respond to things, and the lightest/best flier. Whenever they are separated, the odd duck out tries frantically to get back to the other two, so I would have expected him to come right back. It was odd to me that the other two ducks were inside their normal yard boundaries because I felt they would have taken flight and ended up somewhere in case of an attack?
    It has been 72 hours and he has not come back, nor have I found him around the neighborhood, nor has anyone responded to my lost signs or community lost pet blog posts.
    Foxes are not unheard of, but no one has seen them around for a long time. Coyote are here and pretty common, but I can't see them finding their way into the yard all that easily, though it is not impossible. There are always interested neighborhood cats and one was even checking them out the morning after, but they have never, to my knowledge, gone after the ducks as they are mallards, but they are pretty dang big, plus I would think that there would be evidence. I was wondering about a hawk, but we haven't seen them taking a look at them. We have seen small accipiters, and I wondered if the duck got startled into flight and then got hit, but I would think there would be feathers. It was dusk, a Great Horned Owl? Those aren't common but Barred Owls are. In the last few days I have been keeping a close eye on the remaining two, and not seen anything taking a second pass. The complete lack of feathers left behind is puzzling.
    Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas as to what happened? Is it possible for a 6.5 year old human tamed duck to just leave behind his flock mates and try for real freedom? Is it likely a predator (what?) took him without a trace? Any suggestions as to what to do now? I am very nervous to keep them out in the yard with a possible saavy predator around. Here are some photos of the backyard space:

    Back towards the fence
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    From back fence looking down to house
    [​IMG]

    From house looking back into yard. (Boys are in their mini cage here for when people want to go into the backyard without having their ankles attacked). In the photo you can see their completely enclosed chicken house that they go into when I think I will be back late. They have spent a lot of time in there in the last few days....
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Bills vs Beaks

    Bills vs Beaks Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 31, 2016
    NJ USA
    Owl=out
    They have a sick mind...they rip a ducks head off and leave the body.
    Cat, doubtful. Same for coyote or fox. I think there would be feathers.
    Are the ducks acting nervous, stressed? I'd think if they were brutally attacked they would be acting a little different.

    There's one other option...one that I've seen on here several times...the two legged predator. And that's the worst kind.
     

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