Skip to Content

Do Ducks Eat Tadpoles And Frogspawn?

There are a number of community efforts in place to help maintain the local duck populations in parks and lakes all over North America and Europe and as the community efforts to help maintain the local frog populations start to take off, more and more people are starting to realise that trying to implement the two in the same areas can be problematic.

We have noticed more and more people reaching out and asking if ducks eat tadpoles and frogspawn recently so we wanted to publish a dedicated article on the topic.

Our hope is that we will be able to help as many of our readers as possible who are involved in any type of effort to maintain the local duck or frog population as they really do need as much help as they are able to get in some areas.

We also wanted to correct some of the incorrect information that we have seen people sharing on social media when people have been asking about ducks eating frogspawn and tadpoles too.

As we will be covering three sections within our article, we have added our table of contents below to make the article as easy as possible to navigate.

You can simply click any of the sub-headers below and be taken directly to the specific section of the article that you are interested in reading about.

Do Ducks Eat Frogspawn?

Many adult and juvenile ducks will eat frogspawn and they are able to eat a large amount of frogspawn too. Ducklings do sometimes eat frogspawn but it does tend to be rarer than adult and juvenile ducks depending on the actual age of the duckling as they seem to prefer other food sources.

Frogspawn is not actually as nutrient-dense as some people think but it can be used for some vitamins and minerals as well as an easy source of protein.

Some ducks will often be more likely to ignore frogspawn if there are other regular food sources available to them offering a way to help the local duck and frog population in your local park or lake at the same time.

The easiest way to do this is to try and ensure the ducks are aware of a regular feeding time with many local efforts having implemented regular feeding times with nutritionally complete duck pellets.

This can help the ducks avoid eating frogspawn or tadpoles as they are often full and will simply go to sleep helping to increase the survival rate of the local frogs too.

Do Ducks Eat Tadpoles?

Ducks of all ages do tend to eat tadpoles with ducklings often trying their hand at catching tadpoles but often missing their strike until they get the hang of it.

Adult and juvenile ducks can consume huge numbers of tadpoles though and once duckling get the hand of catching them they will usually put a decent dent in the tadpole population in any body of water too.

Tadpoles tend to be more nutritionally dense than frogspawn too and we would guess that they have more of a flavor to them judging by the rate that ducks go after them as a source of food.

As tadpoles are able to move the ducks will have to work to get them though and if the tadpole is lucky enough to be around large amounts of plant or other types of cover, their survival rate does tend to increase.

Ducks will also eat tadpoles of all stages of growth too ranging from fresh tadpoles directly out of the egg all the way up to small baby frogs.

Some species of duck will actually eat fully grown frogs too but this does tend to be more dependent on the food sources available in the area for the ducks.

How To Stop Ducks Eating Tadpoles And Frogspawn!

The best way to stop ducks eating the tadpoles and frogspawn in your local lakes and ponds is to remove them and keep them in tanks until the tadpoles are tiny frogs and able to be readded to the lake or pond.

This drastically improves the survival rate of the frogs and can be enough to give the local frog population a huge boost.

This is not practical in all situations though so trying to set up an active feeding team for the local ducks to keep them fed using nutritionally complete duck pellets can be another alternative.

Consistently feeding your local ducks can also have downsides though as the ducks may not fly south for the winter if they have a reliable food source with the ducks usually becoming way too familiar with humans for wild ducks too.

Another option that is becoming increasingly popular is to use “tadpole cages” that are essentially just wire cube storage that is dropped into the lake or pond around live plants to protect the tadpoles.

The tadpoles are free to swim in and out of the cubes as they wish but ducks are not able to get through the mesh helping to keep the tadpoles safe but this method also has some drawbacks and is not ideal in all situations.


That brings our article going over if ducks eat tadpoles or not to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand how you are able to protect the frogspawn and tadpoles from the ravenous ducks to help both the local duck and frog population in your area. Although it can be difficult, with a little practice and a plan in place, you are usually able to work on concerning both animals at the same time without issue.