No kidding! I hit a particularly slick patch in the driveway when I got home from class, and my feet pretty much shot out from under me. Still aching from that fall.
So sorry about Vespa. Really pretty bird!!!
We went four years without a hawk attack, so now we have 2" netting up over the whole chicken yard. It is traumatic to see what's left after a hawk attacks a beloved chicken. It makes the weasel's look "kind" (or at least "neat") by comparison.
We've discussed netting the chicken yard, but the problem I'm having is that the yard is HUGE and filled with trees. What I think we're going to do is build a couple pergolas for shelter and a place to run to in the more open areas of the yard, just in the case of an attack. The yard has a lot of shelter, but that shelter is pretty sparse in the winter without the leaves, unfortunately. Then during heavy hawk migration times, I can net over and around the pergolas for some safer outside space. I've been looking at 'chunnel' designs and they don't look too difficult to put together. A chunnel from one pergola to the other and to the coop should do it, I hope. That's my plan, anyway. Hope it works out... We haven't had any direct losses to Mr. Hawk since Saturday, so I'm thinking moving them to the mini-yard with all of the vines and branches over it has put off the predator, at least for now.
Editing to add, I'm thinking we're dealing with a juvenile hawk or a very desperate one. Yesterday, it flew full-force into the back window of the house going after birds at our bird feeders. We haven't seen it since, but I'm sure that's not bound to last. It seems pretty uncoordinated from what I've seen of it. It must either be new at this hunting stuff or just so desperate that it's getting sloppy. I've only seen enough of its profile in flight to know it's either a Cooper's or a Sharp-shinned.
I swear, I bet its a sharp shinned. This incident with my CAGED birds is my first hawk attacks ever, in 3 years. It went after my breeder pairs inside large wire dog cages, (mastiff sized) squeezed through the bars and proceeded to kill and eat the birds inside. These are kept inside a shed that I open all day, so the birds are confined but have fresh air. My geese don't go into that shed, had no idea until all the screaming going on from my guinea. Killed a frizzle silkie rooster, naked neck hen, and a buff laced polish roo. All three could not escape, and were trapped in those 2 cages. I had to reach inside the silkie cage and rescue my white hen. Finally got the hawk out, it was not much bigger than a silkie in body. The hawks mate was right outside in a tree watching the entire time.
Soo, got it out and not 15 minutes later its back! Kills an EE hen, in a cage! Again, in a cage! Now, broom in hand, I get out all my remaining birds and try to chase it out. ( 600 feet back to the house or I would have got my rifle!) My Guinea are crazy by now, divebombing both hawks. Last visit, my guinea got the first hawk, which appeared to be a male. They ripped it apart, but I got the carcass away and burned it. The following day, the mate, slightly larger tried to get into my quail breeding pen to eat them. This time, the guinea were ready and it didn't live long enough to get away. These were the sharp shinned, very small and terribly vicious. No match for around 25-30 guinea however when invading their space. They had NO FEAR of me at all, very unsettling how aggressive these birds were for the small stature. The backs are a darker gray, and they are a tad smaller than a coopers. About the size of a crow, or smaller. Be careful if you corner it, the first bird was attacking me as I grabbed my white silkie out of the cage. I had to pin it with my broom to save her, and then chase it out.