I live in Eastern PA. I always worry about red-tailed hawks as they are all over around here. I worry about them when I let the girls free range but (knock on wood) I haven't had an attack in the last 7 years of keeping chickens and only had 1 scare when DH spotted one sitting on top of the run staring at the girls. So happy the run is partially covered and we wired the rest of the top! I knew several species of falcons are native to this area but never really noticed them till a few years ago. I watched one impressively chase and snatch a black bird in mid air in my neighbors' yard. Over the last couple of years I have been noticing them more and more. In fact since last summer I regularly see them swoop through our yard. A couple of weeks ago my husband called me over to the back door where he saw one leave the top of a pine tree and land on the last post of our fence. I got a pretty good look at it and I'm pretty sure it's a peregrine falcon. They're about 2/3 the size of a red-tailed hawk. This morning I had just opened the back door and I saw one swoop out of the pines very low in the air and I could see it had caught a bird. It landed- more like crash landed onto my truck! It ended up by the windshield at the drivers side wiper. From the back door to where I park is probably 30 feet. As it had a bird in hand so to speak, it kind of was semi flapping to keep its balance. I was in shock- mostly that it picked my truck to land on, and as I stood there mouth agape a SECOND one flew over and tried to land on the opposite side! Its' wing caught the antenna and it never really landed but headed towards the wood line. The first falcon looked at me and took off with its' breakfast in the direction of the second falcon. I stood there dumbfounded looking at the small feathers all over the hood and the still vibrating antenna.
The siting's have been more and more frequent- up to 3-4 times per week. And that's just what I've noticed while not at work. Does anyone know if they would be a threat to my hens? Their run is secure and least from birds of prey but I do like to let them out when I'm home. Due to the time change and shorter days it will not be long till it will be dark when I get home from work so the free ranging will be limited to the weekends. The time I saw one snatch a black bird it looked like it kind of struggled to fly with it so I really don't that they could fly off with a hen?
Has anyone had a falcon attack?