Predator?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by TLWR, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think these are hawks. My guess is they are the big giant vultures that snack on roadkill around here. But I'm not really sure what it is.
    They sometimes fly pretty darn close to the house - as they did today and I was out and stood over the ducks just in case and then when they went back to circling higher, ran inside to grab my camera to see if I could get a pic before they flew too far up or away.

    Do I need to worry about these suckers plucking off my 3 indian runner girls?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. flyweed

    flyweed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    that's a turkey vulture and you don't worry about them killing anything..they are opportunistic feeders, and don't usually swoop in until they see something already dead.

    Dan
     
  3. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, Dan. That's what I though, but wanted to be sure. It is just kind of freaky to have them swoop down to just above the roof and scan. Especially when 1 adult and 2 large dogs don't seem to phase them at all.

    Plenty of roadkill around here to keep them full.
     
  4. aduckstolemyheart

    aduckstolemyheart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's so hard to tell from the pic, but from my experience it's easy to tell the big turkey vultures because you can usually see the red heads, and also they have white tipped wings that you can see while in flight.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Forgive me, flyweed, if I'm splitting hairs. I think that's a black vulture. I think they're a bit different from the turkey vultures. I found this:

    Food Habits
    Black Vultures tend to gather around garbage dumps, sewers, and slaughterhouses in search of carrion and scavenge along roadsides for road kill. These vultures are known to kill baby herons on nesting colonies, and feed on domestic ducks, newborn calves, small mammals, small birds, eggs, skunks, opossums, ripe or rotten fruit or vegetables and young turtles. Black Vultures are opportunistic predators who tend to gorge themselves when they find a suitable food source.

    Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
    Black Vultures have been associated with depredations of livestock or pets and damage to real estate or personal property. Congregations of the vulture cause damage to property, nuisance complaints, and are considered health concerns by producing foul odors. Black vultures are known to kill cattle, calves, and farm-raised deer. Black Vulture is becoming an increasing problem in the garbage dumps of large urban centers.

    Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
    The Black Vulture effectively scavenges carrion such as road kill to recycle the dead animal matter from the landscape.

    from http://www.raptorcenter.org/black-vulture.asp

    Not
    to distress you, TLWR, but if it were me, I'd rather be aware of a threat. We get these come 'round from time to time in New England (several years ago they were not this far north). I'd watch carefully and make sure my ducks have cover.
     
  6. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I knew it wasn't a turkey vulture - the heads aren't right.

    They do have cover, they just don't head there themselves... they used to hide under a tree, but not so much now.
    But they do camp out on roadkill and you can about run them over before they move. But I was kind of thinking they just liked already dead things.... crap.
     
  7. aduckstolemyheart

    aduckstolemyheart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought that bird looked a bit dark, as I couldn't see the white on the wings.
     
  8. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, that looks like a vulture, it could be a black vulture and if it is, they do occasionally take live prey, but mostly they feed on garbage and carrion. And, even when they do take live prey, they don't take it in the same way as a hawk, the most likely do it the same way an African vulture does by ganging up on the animal on the ground or pick on weaklings who can't defend themselves. However, that's no reason to let your guard down.

    On a side note, one time Tom, the muscovy duck at our lake, was sleeping and the Turkey vultures were gathering around him. One went up and stomped around and acted like it was going to attack Tom, who has really bad eyesight and probably wouldn't know they were there. But, apparently, he was alive enough for them to look elsewhere for something to eat.
     
  9. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    What ever the bird is... Better to be safe than sorry.
     
  10. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have something in our area that pops over the border from Mexico that looks just like a turkey vulture, but it's actually a hawk. It's called a zone-tailed hawk. A lot of animals that aren't afraid of vultures let their guards down around them. That allows them to sneak up on prey. I don't think you have those where you live, though.
     

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