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Do Alligators Eat Ducks?

Do Alligators Eat Ducks

Yes and no. Alligators eat ducks sometimes, but they do not eat ducks all the time. Alligators are opportunistic feeders, and ducks are difficult to catch. So, the gators would instead capture something else.

When an alligator attacks a duck, its primary strategy is to drown it. First, it would bite the duck and pull it under the water. Once it is dead, the alligator can start eating.

Do alligators eat wading birds?

Alligator eating meat
Alligator eating meat

Yes, alligators eat wading birds. However, the story is more complicated than this. Wading birds use the alligators as bodyguards. What it means is that they build nests close to the alligators.

Birds do this in the Florida Everglades because they want to protect their eggs from raccoons and possums. However, this does not come with a sacrifice. Sometimes, it is the alligators that eat the wading birds’ chicks.

On some occasions, raccoons and possums attack in huge numbers. If this happens, the wading birds have no other option but to abandon their chicks. When birds do this, it is a feast not only for the possums but also for the gators.

Alligators are hungry animals. They are desperate for food, especially those that live in the Everglades. Water and food sources are low, and this is exacerbated by the invasion of the pythons. As such, the alligators in the Everglades are skinny compared to those found in Mississippi.

Related Article: Are Alligators Mammals?

How do alligators hunt ducks?

duck

In the wild, the hunting strategy of the alligator is the lie-and-wait strategy. They would swim close to the bank and then attack unsuspecting prey. They only have their eyes and snouts above the water’s surface, and they are camouflaged this way.

Ducks, however, do not stay on the banks. They are wading on the water. As such, the alligator has to change its approach. When hunting a duck, the alligator swims slowly and will do so until it has closed in on the duck.

Once the alligator is within striking distance, it will lunge forward to bite. From there, the duck is dinner. It has no power to get out of the gator’s bite. The gator will thrash until the duck dies or drown the duck.

Related Article: Are Alligators Cold-Blooded or Warm-Blooded?

Do alligators eat duck eggs?

goose eggs and nest

No, alligators do not eat duck eggs. They are not known to prey on eggs. Eggs are small and will not serve them the nutrients that they need.

An alligator’s jaw is also not a good tool to eat eggs. Even if it tries, it is nearly impossible for the alligator to bite the egg.

Alligators look for big prey, but not bigger than them. They would hunt ducks and other birds but would not waste time eating eggs. They would eat chicks and rats in the water, but they are not interested in eggs.

Do alligators attack birds on land?

Emu
Emu

Yes, they do, but the gator must be underwater when the bird is on land. In this situation, the duck or bird is drinking water at the riverbank, and the gator would approach.

Alligators will not even hesitate to attack a bird on a tree. Sometimes, there are birds perched on a tree that is accessible to the gator while the gator is in the water. In this scenario, the gator would approach and lunge upwards.

It is not always a successful hunt. However, if the bird does not fly, the gator would lunge again. Sometimes, the birds may panic and fall in the water. And this is an opportunity that the gator would never want to miss.

While gators do not jump, they have the ability to propel themselves upwards from the water. Some can even leap up to five feet. Because of this, it is not unusual for wildlife demonstrators to hang food up in the air while with tourists.

The gators who spot the food would follow the tourist boat and then jump to snag it. This activity makes for a good show in the wild—perfect for videos.

How do ducks avoid alligators?

Chinese Alligator
Chinese Alligator

They don’t. Ducks just wander about. Of course, they would know if a predator were around, but only if the ducks saw the gator. If a duck sees a gator, it will fly away.

Since the gator is an excellent hunter, it can hide under the water. Some of them will swim towards the duck with their eyes and snout on the surface. Sadly, some ducks fail to see that a gator is coming, and then they end up as gator food.

What do alligators eat in ponds?

Alligator lying in water
Alligator lying in water

They pretty much eat everything. They are vicious predators and will not have any prejudice on food if hunger strikes.

Alligators live in many freshwater environments. As such, the American alligator is scattered in the country. It lives in marshes, ponds, lakes, and swamps.

In ponds, they eat small fish and insects. If there are tadpoles, juvenile alligators eat them, too. Young gators would prey on frogs and even snails.

The big ones, however, want bigger prey. Adult gators eat turtles, birds, mammals, and snakes. If the habitat houses deer, then the gator would eat these animals too.

If food is really scarce, gators will eat their own kind. Many crocodile species are cannibals. They will eat other gators or crocs that are smaller than them.

In Florida, gators also attack dogs and large mammals like panthers and black bears. These occurrences are rare, but the gators will never want to miss this opportunity to feed.

Summary

Alligators would eat anything. Some people say they do not eat ducks, but this could not be further from the truth. They do eat ducks.

Alligators hunt ducks if the occasion arises. It is not common because ducks are small and are difficult to catch.

Alligators also attack wading birds and birds perched on trees. The thing is that gators are opportunistic feeders. They want to catch prey that is easy to attack, and they prefer prey that is smaller than them. However, the prey must not be so small that it is a waste of energy.

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