So a friend lent me a really fancypants Canon camera and I was going to take some superdooper pics of the babies and do an individual profile on each of them now that they’re teenagers with proper lil personalities… but then yesterday happened.
A MFKN WEDGE TAILED EAGLE GRABBED ONE OF MY BABIES!!! Yes!! AN EAGLE!
This thing was HUGE! It had a wingspan of at least 6 or 7 foot! Here I was thinking that foxes were going to be the problem with the babies but nuuuuuu goannas and eagles. Who woulda thunk it…
The babies have worked out what those feathery things attached to their bodies are and spend a lot of time jogging and flapping around the yard which is just insanely cute. Some of them can get off the ground and fly a little ways (not the boys cuz they’re too big and goofy). So when I was getting dressed yesterday morning and heard them flapping around outside I didn’t really think much of it until I heard one of them quack. Now my ducks, being Muscovies, don’t quack at all so I had a look outside to see what was going on. I saw three of them flap flying down to the coop and bonk into the fence that separates the yard from the coop! I just thought to myself “silly duckies watch out for the fence ya doofuses!” thinking it was flight lesson time. I watched them a little longer to make sure they were OK and saw them continue down towards the coop so I continued getting dressed and out the door for work.
Just before I hopped in my truck I noticed that they were nowhere to be seen so must have been in their coop house (which is inside the fenced part of the coop) which struck me as a little odd as their usual morning routine after being fed breakie is to forage in the grass inside the yard. Just before I drove through the gate I caught a glimpse of a bunch of feathers out the corner of my eye so I stopped and got out to investigate only to see this GIANT eagle with massive wings take off over the fence, wind whoooshing as it flapped away.
My brain stopped working because I wasn’t sure what I’d just seen. A mfkn EAGLE!!! Almost pinched myself to check… I went over to where it had been on the ground and just found a lot of plucked feathers and realised it must have nabbed one of the babies so I went down to the coop and found them all scared shitless hiding out in the coop house. I cracked the door open just a little and counted them… 6 not 7 😦 I had a quick look at them all and worked out that it was lil Mabel. She was one of my favourites as she was the “guy’s gal”. The other two girls (apart from Mama) are dainty princess scaredy cats where as Mabel was a little bigger and always used to chum around with her three brothers and was a bit bolder than the rest. She was the first to really get off the ground and fly too.
I let them all be and continued on to work with my mind completely blown that a) I had just seen a giant wedge tailed eagle and 2) that it had taken one of my ducks. All day I was just in amazement at what I’d seen. Until I got home and the babies were still traumatised. Usually when I go down to give them dinner and lock them up they’ll meet me half way or up in the house yard but this time they didn’t really set foot out of the coop and seemed happy to be locked up. I gave them some peas (their fave) as a lil soothing treat. I went back to the pile of feathers and actually found the half eaten carcass so I’m not sure if she was there and I overlooked her or whether the eagle came back with her and ate her there.
This morning they were fairly happy in the coop when I let them out and fed them breakie but when I left for work a little while later they were all back in the coop house again so they’re not happy lil ducks. I’m heading home in a bit so I hope they’ve been out of the coop (and the coop house) so I’ll have to wait and see how they cope with this. Poor lil bubbys.
I really hope that this eagle doesn’t come back and pick them off one by one as the goanna did with the last batch. It nabbed her in my yard close to my house so it’s bold. I had a chat to a friend who lives rurally and she mentioned that “wedgies” are known to take little lambs, small dogs and chickens too! I’m thankful I got to know lil Mabel and happy that I gave her a good life while she was with me. I’ll still take pics of the feathered family and give you a proper introduction to them… just minus one 😦