Hawk eats duck

paulsiuDecember 9, 2013

Yesterday, I was treated to an unusual sight. A duck size hawk is sitting out in my yard while tons of birds are nearby at the bird feeder (like 20 feet or so). Usually, when you get one hawk, the whole area clears out.

I took a closer look and notice that the hawk is eating something really large. Perhaps the other bird know that the hawk is preoccupied or that a duck size hawk typically don't go after song birds. In any case, the hawk was eating away. An hour or two later, I decided to go out to see what it was. I walked to the site and realized the hawk was still there 5 feet in front of me. I decided to back away so he or she can continue eating. I returned after dark and discovered that it was a male mallard duck. Ducks often raid my ground feeder, but it's been snowing in IL and I haven't seen one for a week. Perhaps this guy got a late start and got caught in the snow and either expired or got caught by the hawk.


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Terrible, right? Sad sight but that's what hawks do; the others birds' know when the predator is usually occupied and therefore will not bother them, so it's safe for them to loiter. I know Red tailed hawks sometimes hunt ducks...

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 11:52PM
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The hawk keeps coming back. I notice that there are still ducks in the area even though there is a foot of snow and it's 20 F. I figure theses guy would have migrated by now.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 1:34PM
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A few species of hawk reside in IL year-round, especially with a reliable food source.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 11:03AM
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Poor little duck. It's a sad sight but we have to accept it. Hawks eat birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, carrion and invertebrates. There was a time when I passed by my neighbors ranch and I saw a hawk carefully looking to his target. When he had the time, he grabbed the duckling very quick and flew away.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 3:41AM
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It's not sad, it's nature. I eat duck too.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 10:12AM
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While it may be disturbing to watch a hawk eat a duck, it is even more disturbing to see a hawk actually kill the duck. On at least three occasions, I have watched a Northern Harrier in the process of drowning a White-billed Coot. It is rather creepy to watch the Coot struggling just under the surface and finally becoming still. I did see one Coot escape. I know it is the way of nature, and Coots aren't really cute, but it is still upsetting to watch. I would have thought that Mallards were too big for this. Maybe it was injured or sick?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 1:07PM
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