Lost Brownie duck :'( need help identifying predator

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Jacob Duckman, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. Jacob Duckman

    Jacob Duckman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 4, 2016
    Lehigh Valley
    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
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Sad for your loss. I would post the question on the predators and pests forum. And keep them in somewhere safe . The predator will be back.
    1 person likes this.
  3. birdmanmax

    birdmanmax Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2016
    Central Michigan
    Quite an odd case you have here first of all anything could have been out at that time. Right before sun down is a prime time for both nocturnal and durianl predators to attack.

    A fox, coyote, bobcat would have taken the bird away to eat so non of those unless they were scared off before they could get away with the bird.

    A raccon, possum, or sunk would have most lickely of eatan more or tore the guts out unless there again scared off.

    A weasel or mink would have torn the neck apart but would have left the bird intact not tearing the head off and most lickely would have killed more than one.

    My best guess is a hawk or owl, that will often only kill to eat the neck and head. They will usually pluck feathers from the bird then eat so this could explain the mess of feathers.
  4. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2016
    Cumbria, UK
    Maybe a stray dog?
    1 person likes this.
  5. Arkansas Karen

    Arkansas Karen Just Hatched

    Jan 19, 2017
    Your description sounds like this huge owl that was taking my chickens and guineas before I got a guardian dog.
  6. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2014
    Mississippi Y'all
    The separation of the head act sounds like traits of foxes and racoons. If the duck is too big they try to just take what they can carry, so they take off the head and usually will try to just take that.

    I'm so sorry for your loss :(, i hope the case is solved soon.
  7. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    My condolence on your loss. My guess is either a fox or a hawk - the lack of damage to the body makes me lean toward fox. Foxes where I live attack in broad daylight, too. [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.

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