Our 1st casualty: Suspect Bald Eagles BIG NEWS!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Kwyjibo, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Kwyjibo

    Kwyjibo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2011
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Xochitl, one of our muscovy hens went missing yesterday afternoon. She was in an enclosed area (not enclosed overhead) with a very large and aggressive muscovy drake (goose size), another muscovy hen and 9 chickens. We have some bald eagles in our neighborhood (we live on the water - Puget Sound). Lately, they've taken more interest in our yard (one acre wooded lot). They chitter back and forth up in the trees all day - very active.

    There were plenty of easy pickings for any predator: stupid polish and buckeyes, dominiques, and a java. Only predator we've ever seen was coons. But they come out at night - never seen them during day.

    Xochtil liked to hang out on top of the coop (8' high). That may have made her an easy target.

    Anyway, there is no trace of Xochitl. She's a large, very strong bird. She'd be tough to haul off without a fight. We can find no feathers or blood. No carcass. In short, no sign of a struggle. The top of the coop is white, corrugated PVC. Blood would've shown up clearly.

    She's an excellent flyer, so she may have bugged out when she saw the danger. Not sure if she'd know how to get home.

    I guess our time had to come, but it's sad. Now the surviving muscovy hen is going to have to deal with a VERY horny young drake (twice her size) all alone.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  2. DCasper

    DCasper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 13, 2012
    Benton, KY
    Wow, that is a tough one. I would enclose them from the top. Be careful...one dead Bald Eagle is five years in a Federal Prison.
     
  3. Kwyjibo

    Kwyjibo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2011
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Well, Xochitl is back in the coop. A neighbor saw her out on the beach. When we approached her, she flew off into Puget Sound. I spent the better part of an hour chasing her in a kayak in the dark. Bride of Kwyjibo was patrolling the shoreline. Xochitl was tired and water-logged, but she was FAST. I finally steered her up onto the beach and jumped out of the kayak on top of her. It was a Steve Irwin moment. Anyway, tomorrow is wing-clipping day. If she stays on the ground in the yard with all the bushes and other aerial obstructions she should be fine. I'm sure it was an eagle that spooked her off the roof of the coop. Anyway, great news.
     
  4. DCasper

    DCasper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 13, 2012
    Benton, KY
    I am glad he is home, and thank you for keeping us updated. I hope you warned him about the Puget Babes...I saw "An Officer and a Gentleman".
     
  5. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    I'm sure glad nobody went to prison. [​IMG] It's my understanding that you don't even have to kill the bird, just be caught in possession of one feather. But with a chicken that wild why not just let the eagle have her. That's a lot of work to save a chicken that didn't want saving.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  6. Kwyjibo

    Kwyjibo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2011
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    I guess I didn't say that Xochitl is a muscovy duck. Their contrariness is part of their charm! They still have most of their wild instincts. Let's just say that Jiminy the muscovy drake gets away with things that landed the dominique and polish roos in the pot! He's can be spoiled, ill-tempered, stubborn, and throw tantrums like no one's business. He has absolutely no fear of anyone or anything (his 1st encounter with our large yellow lab he hissed at her to get out of way, which she did and he kept walking). Yet, he has so much moxy!! A larger than life personality. He's been that way since he was a wee duckling. The hens have their own charms - mostly lost on us but greatly appreciated by Jiminy. We raised Jiminy but got the girls as adults - so they're very wary of us.

    Yep, there'll be no eagle killing around here. They're a part of nature you accept. In fact, I like living in a world where wild things roam free and do what they're designed to do (even if I don't like it).

    My generous spirit does not extend to racoons and other varmints.
     
  7. the funny farm6

    the funny farm6 New Egg

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    Nov 23, 2011
    Not 100% sure about ducks but i DO know that an eagle will take chickens. My neighbor (and horse shoer) has been having a problem with an eagle sitting on his coop roof watching his hens. ( coop is covered with poultry netting) He contacted the dnr and they told him if the eagle would get tangled in the netting and get hurt or die he would go to jail! Another friend looked out her kitchen window a month ago and an eagle was in one of her trees with one of her buff orpingtons. I am in southeast iowa and we are a wintering over place for eagles- we have a hydroelectric plant and with the dam the water never freezes over so they can fish year long here. But there are sooooo many and now we have nesting sites so many stay year round.
     
  8. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anderson, Texas
    So, your saying if an eagle lands on my coop & gets tangled in the wire I go to jail. I don't beleive that,
     
  9. the funny farm6

    the funny farm6 New Egg

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    Nov 23, 2011
    that is what our dnr told him, something about becouse he knows about the danger to the eagle. didnt make sence to me either. but this is also from the people who deny the reports of mt lions even thow they have been shot localy.
     
  10. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anderson, Texas
    Yea don't believe everything you read or hear. I use to hunt near Lake Houston & there was a Southern Bald Eagle that nested there & they kept saying they wouldn't disturb it bla, bla, bla. Year later they mowed it down with bulldoziers & built houses. Its all a pack of lies. Its all about the money. They also said they wouldn't deystroy the wetlands & if they did they would replace them. Yea, right they put a few drainge ditches in & rolled on.
     

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