6 (3) day old ducklings disappear in 10 minutes at dusk. Who or what ate them? An owl or a rat?

Asked September 29, 2020, 1:24 PM EDT

My ducks just laid 6 ducklings. At 3 days old, I went into the house for exactly ten minutes and when I came out they were gone.Not a bone, not one feather, no blood. I think our resident owl did it. Some people think rats did it. Can an owl do this kind of predatory act in ten minutes?

Clackamas County Oregon

1 Response

I am so sorry. I have ducks also. An owl will only take one prey at a time and leave no trace. Rats, unless in a huge group, would also take one at a time. Thus, the time factor is confusing. If a fox, bobcat or weasel were the culprits, there would be traces apparent. A family of raccoons could do it easily and without a trace. A domestic dog or coyote might be able to snatch them up like cookies. Ditto for a cougar. Human intervention is not unknown. Crows, ravens and other daytime birds of prey will again take one at a time. Also, frequently feathers are left, but not down on babies. I suspect more than one predator was waiting for this outing. I am sorry I cannot pinpoint your predator. I never let chicks or small ducklings out until they have some smarts and size as our predator presence is pretty large.