I saw a hawk light in one of our trees today. He flew in just as I was driving up the driveway, and by the time I got out of the car, he was gone. He was also facing out of our yard, toward the neighbor's windbreak trees.
Please tell me more! I cannot afford a covered run at this time.
First not all hawks are a problem. Second, many hawks are picky about how to catch something (most do not like to take risks). The pickiness is species or sex dependent. Hawks also not super smart and may not be as smart as some chickens. Hawks tend to go after certain sizes or like to hunt from specific locations and make first contact with victim under certan conditions. Hawks as a general rule are poorly suited for grappling with a victim and fighting off an assailent. Most hawks can and will take on prey larger than themselves but most prefer critters that are smaller than they are and usually small enough so hawk can fly away with it immediately, especially when catch is to be taken to nest to feed young. A red-tail might weight 4.5 pounds so that means that when feeding chicks quarry targeted will weigh less than 1/3 of that.
Those are concepts I take into consideration when managing flock and landscape to control losses to hawks. I can provide more details this weekend when time allows.