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Mysterious bird of prey

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
There has been a bird of prey hanging around my chickens. I have seen it 4 times. The third time it actually tried to get one of my chickens. The bird is grey on its back with a orange whitish belly. It's smaller than a red tail hawk and it always flies away when I run outside. I think it might be a falcon. What should I do to keep my chickens safe. They are free range
post #2 of 9
As far as I know there is nothing you can do to guarantee their safety as long as they are free range, since you can't just shoot the hawk. I just lost a bird last week to a hawk because my run is not covered and all the weeds they used to hide in have died off. They never had a problem all summer, so I'm just leaving the gate to the run open now because they are more protected under a shrub than in an uncovered run. What my point is that they know how to hide from hawks pretty well, just make sure they have lots of cover, like shrubs and stuff to hide under.
Edited by Toddrick - 11/12/15 at 8:11am
post #3 of 9

Did it look like this? It's a Cooper's hawk.

 

Adult. Note: dark cap and thick legs.

 

Lots of cover and places to hide will help, but as long as you free range you stand the chance of losing birds. Cooper's are skilled at hunting through wooded areas.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
It didn't look like that. The grey on its back is striped.my chickens mainly like to go in the brush on the stone wall
post #5 of 9

Could be Falcon or Merlin but here is a site with various pictures

http://www.birds-of-north-america.net/Birds_of_Prey.html

You win some and lose some. When at first you don't succeed: try... try... try... try and try again.

 

How to Provide Emergency and Supportive Care        

Maintaining a Healthy Flock

Chicken Injuries & Diseases

Poop Chart 

Emergency Helpful References & Links

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You win some and lose some. When at first you don't succeed: try... try... try... try and try again.

 

How to Provide Emergency and Supportive Care        

Maintaining a Healthy Flock

Chicken Injuries & Diseases

Poop Chart 

Emergency Helpful References & Links

Reply
post #6 of 9
Yeah if they are free range your best bet is lots of hiding places. Unfortunately the hawk or whatever it is isn't dumb so will get them on their way to covered areas. We just lost one about a month ago to a goshawk, now I'm going to organise their area so they can only free range below the bushes in my garden and not on the lawn so they aren't exposed and cover the area between the run and those with some bird netting so it can't dive on them from above.
Edited by appps - 11/12/15 at 1:46pm

Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

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Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

Reply
post #7 of 9

The best thing  I have found is a herding dog.  I have two that stay with my flock when they are out.  I have not lost any birds to predators while they were out since I started using dogs a number of years ago.  I was lucky and my first dog just took to protecting the flock instinctual and the others learned by watching him.

Tom Depointe

Brooklyn, Connecticut

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Tom Depointe

Brooklyn, Connecticut

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post #8 of 9

I would love to have a dog that I trust enough to leave with my birds. 

Just because you caught it in a trap, doesn't make it the killer of your chickens.

 

Poo chart:  https://uconnladybug.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/scatlayout_bottom-worthadam.jpg

Foxes climb:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6YQdi5gbFg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt8FG9Fblis

Possums eat ticks  http://www.caryinstitute.org/newsroom/opossums-killers-ticks

A Chicken's Life:  https:/...

Reply

Just because you caught it in a trap, doesn't make it the killer of your chickens.

 

Poo chart:  https://uconnladybug.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/scatlayout_bottom-worthadam.jpg

Foxes climb:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6YQdi5gbFg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt8FG9Fblis

Possums eat ticks  http://www.caryinstitute.org/newsroom/opossums-killers-ticks

A Chicken's Life:  https:/...

Reply
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
It looks like it could be a perigine falcon
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