Predatory birds??


In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 2, 2010
Hi I had posted about one of my ducks going missing a little while back and I had never found out who or what the culprit was. In the last 2 weeks we have been seeing a bald eagle circling around our neighborhood and I thought, maybe he was the problem. Today confirmed it when I went outside and couldn't find my ducks, well they were okay, they were just in their house (they are never in their duck house unless it's nighttime) then I saw movement and the bald eagle was perched in a tree about 25 feet above my head! He took off but i believe he was waiting for my guys to come out so he could snatch them. My question is, how do you protect them from these predators, they live in a fenced in backyard which keeps out raccoons, stray dogs and the like, but what about these aerial killers? Is their any chance for them?
The only way to fully protect them is if their in a covered pen. Turkeys and geese are used as a aerial deterrent (Though this is not 100 percent protection, I have found when i added my geese the hawks stop trying to attack my ducks.).
You may need to keep them in a covered pen. i would love for all my ducks and chickens to free-range, but i can't be there to protect them all the time. So they stay in pens covered in hardware cloth, pvc panels, or aviary netting. The aviary netting is the cheapest way to go and it still allows air and light through. We don't have eagles here and the strength of my netting has never been tested. But i believe it will thwart most winged predators like hawks and owls. Raccoons and other nighttime predators can chew through it, so you will want to lock your ducks up at night.
I don't know if a bald eagle will take ducks. Perhaps small ones and babies. I'm saying this because I live in bald eagle central. The Klamath Basin is known for its large bald eagle population. You cannot even drive 2 miles without seeing at lest 10 of them. They bring a lot of tourists up here just to see them. I see at least one per day over my land. I'm sure it freaked out your ducks as it does mine. Mine freeze and stare up into the air watching it. I still let them free range in a large 1 acre fenced in area. No tops here and they have been fine so far. I wonder if someone here can report on an actual duck attack by a bald eagle? That would be a real indicator, if they pose a real threat to ducks. Quite honest I'm not going to drive myself wild until I have a problem.
O ya. One of my friends had ducks once upon a time and wanted to buy more from me but couldn't because there was a bald eagle that lived on her pond. And every time she get more ducks the eagle would devour them.

RamblinLizard if you want your ducks /chickens to be totally protected i would go ahead and build an aviary. Using a site barrier a good hight to keep the possums, raccoons, foxes, etc. from try to dig under or chew through the wire. There are some really good examples in the link in my signature.
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I am worried because I have had one duck go missing already but I didn't see any feathers, blood etc...but that just leaves me with my two runners left. I don't have other poultry and after speaking with my husband, we decided instead of preparing the ducks/yard for the coming winter we are considering purchasing duck diapers and having indoor ducks and allowing them to free range when they are supervised. Anyone have any luck with that?
As I've said I have not encountered an issue and wanted to hear from those that know for sure. It's good to know, but for now I'm not changing a thing. BTW my ducks are very large Saxony ducks, so that may be the reason. They are probably twice the size of runners.
Google bald eagles and ducks and you will find that bald eagles are definite duck killers, even large ducks. There are videos and photos of them taking fairly good sized ducks. They are very powerful birds and can carry a heavy duck right into the air back to their nest.

Make sure you cover your run with strong netting or fencing and keep your eyes out for these birds.
I know they are powerful, but quit honest the female great horned owls are bigger and they live in my trees. I'm still not going overboard and build the duck prison. They free range and I take the risk.
Bald eagles should be larger than great horned owls. They are almost the biggest flying birds around other than condors. Great horned owls only have a wingspan of 40-57 inches and a body length of 18 to 24 inches (females on the larger ends). Bald eagles have a wingspan of about 80 inches and the body length of 28-40 inches.

I was mainly addressing my last post to the OP.
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