Do hawks eat ducks?

In this article we are going to answer: do hawks eat ducks, what are hawks, what are ducks, what hawks eat, what are the most common predators of ducks, and how to protect your duck from hawks. 

Do hawks eat ducks?

Yes, hawks can eat ducks. Hawks are one of the major predators of ducks which are known as chickenhawks by farms and homeowners. Hawks can lift about five to 8 pounds so ducklings, young ducks, and small ducks are highly vulnerable to hawks. 

Larger ducks might be harder for hawks to eat but they are not out of their range. Hawks can shred their back with their nails and attempt to fly with them. If they can’t fly with them, they will probably kill them anyway. 

What are hawks?

Hawks are a type of bird from the genus Accipiter. They are known as bird hawks or true hawks. Hawks are closely related to falcons, ospreys, and vultures. 

They are one of the major predators of poultry, smaller birds, some small mammals, reptiles, and insects. Hawks usually lift their prey before they escape and once secured with their talons and nails, they dismembered them with their beak. 

Hawks can live all over the world except in Antarctica because of the climate. They usually live and nest in trees but some can live in grassy places and nest on cliffs. The most common species of hawks include

  • Subfamily Accipitridae
  • Genus Accipiter: True Hawks, Goshawk, and Sparrowhawk
  • Genus Micronisus
  • Genus Melierax
  • Genus Urotriorchis
  • Genus Erythrotriorchis
  • Genus Megatriorchis

What are ducks?

Ducks are from the same family as swans and geese, the family Anatidae. They are aquatic birds and can be found in saltwater and freshwater. The duck family has several subfamilies or tribes that are based on morphological characteristics. 

Ducks are found all around the world except for Antarctica because of the cold weather. They eat aquatic plants, fish, insects, small amphibians, worms, and small mollusks. There are 3 different types of ducks depending on how they can catch their food

  • Dabbling ducks feed on the surface of the water or land. They can not submerge completely.
  • Diving ducks and sea ducks can submerge into deepwater. 

What do hawks eat?

Hawks can eat a large quantity and variety of animals. They can eat insects and invertebrates such as crickets, dragonflies, and prawns. Also, their menu can include lizards, turtles, snakes, and other reptiles. 

Hawks can also eat hares, rabbits, squirrels, prairie dogs, ducks, hummingbirds, or other types of small birds. When hawks are in the city and not in their natural habitat, there have been cases where hawks can even kill small dogs and cats to eat. 

What are the most common predators of ducks?

Ducks are very vulnerable and have several predators. They are very vulnerable because they do not fly and can’t defend themselves. The most common duck predators include:

  • Pike
  • Crocodilians
  • Herons
  • Coyotes
  • Mink
  • Raccoons
  • Owls
  • Bobcats
  • Foxes
  • Hawks
  • Owls

How to protect your duck from hawks?

To protect your ducks from hawks and other predators you need to take some precautions on your property to keep them away as much as you can. Some precautions include

  • Install tall perimeter fencing, this will protect them from coyotes and raccoons. 
  • Have them a good and strong coop. Predators attack during the night when your ducks will probably be in their coop, buy a very good one to protect them. 
  • Remove eggs in the early morning and close your coop during the day when ducks are no longer there.
  • Put your ducks into their coop before dark. About 30 minutes to one hour before dark because predators can attack before. Also, let them out of the coop 30 minutes or one hour after dawn. 
  • Put some obstacles for hawks such as large trees and a very tall fence to prevent them from attacking your ducks. 
  • Keep a live guardian for your ducks such as a friendly dog to keep them safe and alert you if a hawk wants to attack. 

Follow this link for more information about duck predators and how to protect them. 


This article answered do hawks eat ducks, what are hawks, what are ducks, what hawks eat, what are the most common predators of ducks, and how to protect your duck from hawks. 


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