What would take birds and leave nothing behind??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Sarah1031, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. Sarah1031

    Sarah1031 In the Brooder

    So tonight is the second time something came and got one of my ducks without leaving a trace. It also happens a little after it gets dark. Not all my birds go in the coop on there own, so i put them in there right when it gets dark. I cant figure out what would leave no feathers or anything. Anyone have any ideas what this could be? There are raccoons and coyotes around...but i thought those guys leave feathers at least

  2. Bullitt

    Bullitt Songster

    Jan 16, 2012
    It's difficult to say. Have you looked for tracks?

    Something like a coyote certainly could kill a duck by biting it on the head and then carry the duck away.

    Is it possible that it was a hawk or an owl?
  3. Sarah1031

    Sarah1031 In the Brooder

    My yard is all grass, so cant really see any tracks,...i do hear owls every night, coyotes i dont see or hear to often now, heard them more in the summer...if a coyote carried them off would they kill the duck instantly then? But maybe it is an owl, since no noise or feathers?? [​IMG]
    Definitely going to start putting them in the coop right at dusk when there is still a little light out
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Unfortunately not all predators read the manual about how they are supposed to act. That’s one of the things that make it hard to be sure what you are dealing with.

    Sounds like you are pretty sure of the timing. Most predators that will carry them off without a trace hunt day or night, though most are usually more active after dark.

    The only thing I can think of that would be limited by darkness would be an owl. So there is one possibility. On owl normally just kills one a visit. I had a chicken killed by an owl a month or so ago. I was out late watching a play and did not get them locked up on time. I left the carcass until the next morning but it disappeared without a trace, probably carried off by a coyote or fox.

    Foxes and coyotes are possibilities for you. They hunt day and night but foxes especially seem to like dusk and dawn. Yes they are “supposed” to leave a pile of feathers but they don’t always. Many people report multiple kills when these attack but my experience is more that they take one and carry it off. Like I said, they don’t all read the manual. I put a fox at the top of the list, followed closely by coyote and owl.

    It’s possible it could be a dog but that just doesn’t sound right. A dog is way down on my list.

    A bobcat is a possibility. They can attack any time, day or night. They normally leave feathers but they will carry off the carcass and bury it.

    The only other predator I can think of that might strike that time of day and carry a duck off without leaving a trace is a human. Creepy I know, but is that a possibility?

    How do you identify which it is? That can be hard. I can’t think of any way with an owl if the carcass disappears. Sometimes a predator will leave poop behind but these are more likely to snatch and run, not hang around to take care of body functions. With a 4-legged predator that may prowl around you coop to check for weaknesses. Maybe clear a patch and rake the dirt or spread some flour in hopes of getting a footprint. A game camera is not real cheap but you might be surprised by what you see around your coop at night.

    Good luck with it. These are usually not easy and when they disappear without a trace it’s even harder.

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