And then there were 11

Those ducklings that hatched a few days ago?

We’re down by 3. Only 11 left.

This morning as I left the house to walk to the gym, I saw why.

There’s some sort of predator bird.

I crossed the street, and it flew out of the nearby tree right in front of me. It was too dark, too suddenly there then too suddenly gone to get a good look at it, but I could tell enough that it was a falcon or a hawk or something of that ilk. I looked a little further and saw Momma duck and her babies all huddled in a neighbor’s lawn, Mother’s head up high in sentinel mode ever watchful.

I know the kids are going to be on the watch for this, to identify the predator bird and see if it’s the same one from before. If so, I wonder where it nests.

At this rate, I’m not expecting any of the ducklings to survive. The bird knows an easy (and plentiful) food source is here. We noted being down by one a day ago, and now two more gone. At this rate, maybe a week or two before they’re all gone. Get your “baby duck squee” in while you can. :-)

It’s OK. It’s life. It’s how things go. Yes I’d like some of them to survive to adulthood, but this is just how life goes. And frankly, we’re all more OK with this than other means of population control. We just don’t like how the HOA and USDA folks come in, trap the ducks, then “relocate” them. Maybe they really are relocating them, but since they never give me details and get evasive when pressed, my only conclusion is they are destroying the ducks. To me, that’s terrible. Yes I understand population management, but to just destroy the ducks is a cruel waste. They taste good, and we’ve got hungry people in this city. Why aren’t we feeding them?

I did manage to finally snap a picture:

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9 thoughts on “And then there were 11”

  1. I’ve seen ravens, crows, and even magpies go after small birds. I imagine you’ve got quite a few of those, in addition to the usual raptors.

    1. There are some crows around, but we know for sure this is some sort of raptor bird. Just haven’t been able to get a good solid look at it to identify it. It’s not black so…. :-)

      But as of now, there are 10. The bird got another this morning.

      1. My bias showing here, but trading some ducklings for another batch of hawks or falcons is a pretty good trade.
        I love watching birds of prey do their thing. Even when their thing is eating the mother-in-law’s chickens. 😊

        1. Maybe. Depends how sustainable things are for the raptors. But that’s part of why I wondered if it’s the same one from last year… maybe a nest, maybe a growing family. Would be kinda neat.

          And now we’re down to 9… I just counted.

  2. I know we have a breeding pair of Crested Caracaras in my part of south Austin (I can see the nest from my back porch), and also there are a LOT of owls along with red-tail hawks as well.

    Those ducklings don’t stand much of a chance.

    1. OO… a breeding pair that you can see from your porch. How cool to be able to watch! I’ll see a caracara every once in a while around the house.

      I’m guessing red-tail hawk at this point, but still don’t know for sure.

      And I think Oldest reported 7 this morning. So yes… it won’t be long until there are none.

    1. Yerwelcome. :-)

      That’s what we all dig around here… sucks to see the little balls of cute being eaten, but the kiddos all know it’s nature and how the world works. And yes, we kinda wonder if that means there’s a nesting pair of hawks around here somewhere. That’d be even more cool.

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