Monday, March 12, 2012

My pet eagle FAMILY

One of my bald eagles

The other bald eagle

A  young bald eagle (one of two)

The remains of my duck after the eagles ate it

The wild ducks that I wish that the eagles would eat instead.
These  ducks are on the ground about 50' from the two adult eagles.  The eagles stare at them for hours.  I would not be a happy duck with that sort of attention. 

 I think that the bald eagles in my area prefer ducks.  I think that duck is tasty, too.  I've got a mated pair that has nested in the woods behind my pasture, and they've managed to hatch and raise two youngsters.  Unfortunately for me, they're teaching their young that domestic fowl are tasty.  So far they've killed 4 guinea fowl, 1 goose, five ducks and a turkey. 

I'm concerned that these eagles are being habituated to taking livestock, and I'm not sure what to do about this.  They're daytime predators; this duck was killed at 11am in the morning.   What they're forcing me to do is closely pen my poultry, and now I'm wondering when it will be safe to put lambs out, or even sows with piglets.

This is a problem. 

More on eagles


becky3086 said...

What a dilema. So nice to have eagles but they are predators. I have to keep my poultry penned most of the time as we have hawks and eagles here. Though I have never had an eagle come to the pens, I have had broadwinged hawks come perch over the pens. All my pens have chain link tops though so I wasn't worried...much.

Garand Gal said...

Bruce, if you can't figure out a way to deter them maybe you could start advertising for tourists to come watch them. You could put out the bins and let the tourists hand feed the pigs, hand them a shovel and let them get back to nature, call it an agro-tourism experience. I wonder if you could sell the piglets as hand fed and massaged daily? LOL
Seriously, would using a lgd like a great pyr be acceptable to the powers that regulate what you can do with eagles? I know you have Airedales, but I don't know the breed so I don't know if turning them loose in the field to shoo eagles away would be a good idea, but great pyrs do it well and don't seem interested in catching the birds, just making them leave.

Kelly Johnson said...

I dont know what your state laws are and I dont have any experience with eagles, just hawks but here are a couple of ideas. First put up a scarecrow the shinny cds hanging off it to sparkle in the sunlight. This will make them nervous. Next go out and buy you some good bottle rockets. Keep a pack in your tractors around the barn. When you see an eagle light one up. Buy the more expensive ones. The cheap ones dont go far enough and are not loud enough. I just now had to run outside and dust a hawk with the 12 gauge while writing this. I keep one loaded and on hand for hawks and fox. Lastly, Im sure its illegal to shoot at eagles but I cant see the harm in doing some target practice at other things when their around. This will hopefully make them move on to a more peacefull location.

BigGAdawg said...

With regard to Kelly Johnson's comment, state laws are not at issue; birds of prey (eagles, hawks, owls, etc.) are federally protected, and by dust a hawk I hope you mean you scared one away by making a loud noise, not that you just admitted to a very expensive federal offense.

Now to the notion of deterring predators--would it be illegal for you to wrap a duck (guinnea, turkey, etc.) carcass in fence wire and hook the wire to a lead from your electric fencing? It won't kill or harm them but might adjust the attitude of any predators in the area, be they birds, coyotes, etc. Maybe such a shock would change their view of the world.

Cody Jarrett said...

kelly's ideas are bad. notice the words molest and disturb.

your "friends" there would, i bet, love to turn you in to the feds.

The bald eagle will continue to be protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act even though it has been delisted under the Endangered Species Act. This law, originally passed in 1940, provides for the protection of the bald eagle and the golden eagle (as amended in 1962) by prohibiting the take, possession, sale, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, of any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, including any part, nest, or egg, unless allowed by permit Bald Eagle sitting in tree (16 U.S.C. 668(a); 50 CFR 22). "Take" includes pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb (16 U.S.C. 668c; 50 CFR 22.3). The 1972 amendments increased civil penalties for violating provisions of the Act to a maximum fine of $5,000 or one year imprisonment with $10,000 or not more than two years in prison for a second conviction. Felony convictions carry a maximum fine of $250,000 or two years of imprisonment. The fine doubles for an organization. Rewards are provided for information leading to arrest and conviction for violation of the Act.

Kelly Johnson said...

Hey BigGAdawg. If you would kindly point me to the website or agency where the Federal Goverment will pay me for my lost livestock I would be more then happy to let the hawks have all the animals they want. What would you do if a neighbors dog kept coming in and killing your livestock and everyone kept telling you that you had to tolerate it?
No. I did not kill the hawk the other day. Usually by the time you get something to deter them they are out of range.
I like hawks. They are beautiful creatures. I make every attempt to deter them in non-lethal ways but if they still wont go away then......???
I have a TVA powerline at the back of my farm. The buzzards love the tower. They roost up there making a mess. I dont like it but other then them making a mess they are doing no harm to me so I tolerate them and leave them alone.

Cody Jarrett said...

thanks for publishing my comment. I guess you don't need interested, involved readers. I won't be back.

Bruce King said...

Sorry Ceo-mmp -- I think I missed your comment in the email. I've been busy the last two weeks; taxes and some expansion plans for the farm; I get 700 or so emails a week. Some do slip through the cracks.

kookoonuts said...

I love how you say they're "your" bald eagles. You house and feed them, after all. I wonder if there's a federal grant for this...