Nature Can Be Cruel …… Death of a Duck at Bond Head

I observed an event today which I have never seen before.  I was unsure if I should post the story and the photos on my blog as I normally share only “pretty” pictures but decided that some people might find the situation interesting.

While taking photos today of the many ducks down at Bond Head on the shore of Lake Ontario, I noticed a small furry mammal crawling over the ice shelf on the break wall.  It was some distance away from me and across the narrow channel.  I decided to move closer and as I did, I  noticed that the creature was dragging something which he dropped about 10 feet from the edge. I was shocked to see that it was a merganser and it seemed lifeless.

The furry creature came back to the edge of the ice leaving the dead duck behind.  He then watched the many ducks below him, perhaps identifying his next victim. He finally dove into the water but I later spotted him peeking out of hole in the side of the ice shelf.  He finally came out of the tunnel, crawled on top of the shelf, and went to retrieve the dead duck. He dragged it to the edge of the ice by it’s neck and then jumped into the water taking the duck below the surface with him.  I did not see him resurface.

If someone familiar with brown, furry mammals can help me identify this creature, please respond to my blog.IMG_5281-Bond Head Bluffs 1024 signed IMG_5303-Edit Merganzer 1024 signed IMG_5323-Feeding Frenzy 1024 signed IMG_5347-Dragging the Kill 1024 signed IMG_5360-Back for More Unsuspecting Ducks 1024 signed IMG_5409-Creature at Tunnel 1024 signed IMG_5417- Creature at Bond Head 1024 signed IMG_5424-Creature Dragging Duck 1024 signed IMG_5425-Creature and Duck 1024 signed

About janewalkerscards

Jane Walker is a Newcastle photographer who creates framed photographs, photo trays and matted greeting cards reflecting the beauty of nature and gardens. Her recent interest in birds, owls and other wildlife is now being reflected in her posts. As a member of the Oshawa Camera Club, Jane has started to enter some of her photos for judging and appreciates the critiques by the judges. You'll be surprised at what shows up under the guise of "janewalkerscards".
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22 Responses to Nature Can Be Cruel …… Death of a Duck at Bond Head

  1. Tim Thorington says:

    Very nice pictures. Not sure if this helps: Thinking either a Fisher or Marten. If I had to guess I would say Fisher as it is more likely to take a duck but I am not an expert… “Size is the quickest way as the marten is just a little larger than a mink (2 to 4 pounds) while the fisher is like a small dog or fox ( 5 to 10 pounds). The marten has a buff colored patch on its throat and chest. The fisher is the only furbearer with a solid blackish brown hide. Also the shoulders have a grizzled look about them.”

    Sent from Tim’s iPad


    • Thanks for your input Tim. I don’t think it was large enough to be a fisher, it was more the size of a cat . I couldn’t see a buff patch on the throat and chest but I may have missed it as I was so surprised to see it in the first place.
      I may go back today to look for it……

  2. Tim Thorington says:

    Was out bird watching in the Burlington/Hamilton area with Pickering Naturalists yesterday. Managed to see 42 different species of birds. Some pretty cool sitings from Bald eagles to Hawks, Falcons and lots of different waterfowl.

    Sent from Tim’s iPad


  3. Judy Metcalf says:

    Hi Jane Dave thought it could be an otter or a fisher, but he doesn’t think fishers would take their prey under the water.It is amzing what you will see when waiting for that favourite shot. Judy

    Date: Sun, 9 Feb 2014 02:42:45 +0000 To:

    • I went back yesterday to look for the creature again. No chance of that……
      Regarding the ID. of the little creature, seems that it’s a mink. Confirmed by someone who works at the Ministry of Natural Resources and another person who works at the zoo.
      I guess the mystery has been solved!

  4. Gayle Bryson says:

    I think it is a weasel. I don’t know if they like water that much.

  5. Hello Jane: beautiful series of photos! The beautiful furry critter is a Mink.

  6. Tim Thorington says:

    One of my friends that work at the zoo said that it is a mink…

    Sent from Tim’s iPad


    • Thanks Tim for checking. An acquaintance who works for the Ministry of Natural Resources also believes that it’s a mink…..too small for a fisher and a marten apparently is more of a tree dweller who eats red squirrels not ducks. The consensus is that it’s a mink.

  7. Loreen says:

    Great shots! I probably would have said otter, but the mink makes more sense. We sometimes see both out on the ice here, and if they are too far away, it’s difficult to tell.

  8. Leif says:

    Great shots, Jane! It’s a bonus to be both good & lucky!!!

  9. Debi says:

    Wow……just WOW !

  10. Linda says:

    Jane those are amazing pictures, Nature has a way of being beautiful and at times cruel but also reminds us what it takes to survive.
    I have forwarded your photos to my friends out west.

  11. Jarrett says:

    I believe the animal is a Fisher. They are pretty mean little dudes known to attack anything from foxes, to ducks, house cats. They’re fairly unknown to most.

    • Thanks for your input and the video about the fisher. After seeing it, I’m not sure that what I saw was a fisher. It was quite a bit smaller . I will never know for certain. I’ve been back down to the lake to look for it and saw another dead duck on the ice shelf but no sign of the mink/fisher/marten!

  12. Glad you liked the photos and thanks for sharing my site with friends. I noticed that I have a response from your son, Jarrett. Hopefully I can post some flower pictures soon….when Spring arrives.

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