Originally Posted by centrarchid
Two hawks in cockyard in last 45 minutes. Current temperature 13 F with wind from north 10 to 15 mph.
First was previously mentioned Red-Shouldered Hawk that launched from position on ground as I approached the barn. I kept an eye on the launch point expecting to find a kill sight. Once I got their I was surprised to find a spot where they hawk was laying in the ground sunning itself exactly like some chickens were doing no more than 75 feet away. Hawks location was southern exposure of cedar tree (~4' tall) base covered in snow free grass. Hawk had good view of all area except to north where chickens where located. Hawk left as I pushed towards barn in short flights looking back at me from each perch. It is hunting cockyard for small rodents but not going after songbirds.
Dogs and I went for short walk into woods and upon return I saw a Red-Tailed Hawk that landing in almost same location Red-tailed Hawk landed when it flushed. A rooster started cackling the hawk warning and Lucy (female dog) began barking and looking into trees but did not see hawk herself. Hawk then flew due west.
Yesterday a Merlin (falcon rather than hawk) caught a starling around barn and consumed in while in tree in front of barn. Chickens did get riled over that little bird which is not a threat to anything I have.
Good catch on the "sun bathing". Have only ever seen RS on ground when one is tearing into a meal (frogs) and when mating (lucky glance out into wooded draw - got the binoculars and cleared up any confusion). Our resident of several year `09-X? hasn't been around since October. Never stooped on a chook and, its attempts to "spook" the turkeys consistently ended in derisive treatment meted out by the hens, in particular.
The "resident" did a whole lot of hunting, down at the pond, lot's of Bull/Leopard Frogs and snakes for the taking. So, if we had Bantam pullets, instead of big production Sex Links? I might be reporting different outcomes.Edited by ivan3 - 1/18/16 at 8:34pm