Because of their wide distribution through many types of habitats, ducks have many predators. Some of these include hawks, coyotes, foxes and large fish. While swimming, ducks are also susceptible to predators such as alligators and crocodiles, and large fish such as pike and the North American muskie.
Ducks are aquatic birds, meaning they are found in or around freshwater and salt water. Some animals feed solely on duck eggs, while other predators target adult ducks or young ducklings. Foxes and minks are common threats to ducks' nests. The striped skunk and the American crow also commonly feed on duck eggs.
Adult female ducks, known as hens, are very protective of their young. They spend their time keeping their ducklings warm, teaching them to find food and guiding them during their first migration. However, ducklings are unable to fly during their first months of life, making them easy targets for nearly all of their natural predators. In addition, brooding mothers often become targets for foxes and birds of prey while sitting on their nests. Large fish-eating birds, such as heron, Peregrine falcons, hawks and eagles, regularly hunt ducks. Humans and peregrine falcons are able to hunt ducks even when they are flying.