We are having a problem with foxes lately. I guess they are always a problem, but now's the time (late Spring) that the vixens are starting to teach their cubs to hunt, and they are extra active, even during the day. Since our goofy labrador is not much use a as a Maremma-type poultry guardian, the kids guard the ducks when they go out for their run twice a day, while I replenish the feed and water inside the commercial shed.
So.... on the one afternoon the kids weren't home last week, the ducks are outside the shed for a maximum of 15 minutes at dusk. I glance down the hill to see not a fox, but a huge wedgetailed eagle taking off with a very unfortunate 1 year old trout Indian Runner duck. It dropped it mid-flight, and I've raced over to find it totally disembowelled. What a horrible death. Wedgetails are protected in NSW so there is nothing we can do about it, other than to hope they aren't visiting too often!
I recounted this story to my favourite neighbour & sometimes farm-hand, who told me she'd once seen a Wedgetail take a kelpie pup. Another friend said he'd seen a white breasted sea eagle pick up a domestic cat & repeatedly drop it until it died. None of this gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.
A few years ago, we were living behind a huge commercial broiler farm. Once a week they'd pile up all their dead chickens and incinerate them. That's a smell that will outlast religion.... but I digress. One evening I stood outside, to see a huge white breasted sea eagle flying overhead, carrying a burning chicken in its talons. Off it flew, into the dry bush, in the heat of summer - perhaps the most bizarre way a bushfire could ever start.