It’s not uncommon for us to have eagles come by, but we got to know one up close & personal last week.
Most of our ducks are penned up in 5′ x 10′ open bottomed pens. They get moved to fresh grass every day, but they don’t get to run free. Our runner ducks are the exception. They are too high strung & intelligent to be happy in a pen. They are excellent foragers, and do a great job on holding the slug & bug populations down on our place. At night, they are closed up for protection against raccoons, but at first light, they have been free to roam…. But not any more!
On Monday we heard the geese making a terrible noise. When Kathy and I went out to see what was the problem, we discovered an eagle had decided to breakfast on one of these free range runner ducks.
The eagle flew off when we approached, and watched us for some time to see if it could come back to finish its meal. I penned up the 5 remaining birds and kept them in until Wednesday morning. That day I let them out again. Nothing happened Wednesday. Nothing happened Thursday, but on Friday I stepped outside to take a break from sanding our new hardwood floors and something just sounded WRONG. I walked around to look at the birds, and there was the eagle again. This time it was working on our runner drake. The final 4 runners no longer get to run. They are stuck in the pen permanently for now.
We have seen the eagle come by about twice each day since. It hasn’t bothered the geese…yet, but I think I may need to shift them to portable pens once the goslings arrive. I’d prefer to keep them in a large flock instead of pens, but open fences might not be an option any more this spring.