A falcon dive bombed my hens today

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by citychickx6, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok so I had the girls in the yard while I was doing some chores and one of these birds dive bombed several times.

    [​IMG]

    American Kestrel

    They are not large birds but he dive bombed like he meant it. Not once but several times he tried to catch the hens. Lilly was the first target. Then he went for Charger while she was less than 3 feet from me.
    I say he because the bird had the strong blue grey on the wings like the males in the drawings.

    Twice I stepped between it and a hen causing it to crash land.

    Hard to get 14 hens to head back into the coop or run with all the chaos going on. I had to call my son on his cell phone to help me. He hung around the area for a couple hours before a crow ran him off.

    Question is ..... Is this bird even large enough to take down a chicken???

    He did not seem large enough but had determination. They are about a foot long.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    About a foot long sounds more like a Cooper's hawk, and yes they are capable of killing a chicken. Kestrels, to the best of my knowledge, may take songbirds and meadow voles, but rarely anything larger than that.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Could have also been a sharp-shinned. This time of year they will harass much larger birds as if playing. They give woodpeckers, including pileated, a hard time on occasion. They are only about a foot long, barely larger than female American kestrel shown in drawings above.
     
  4. chickortreat

    chickortreat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If he was within 3 feet of you, a tennis racket would have been a nice swatter to send him packing.
     
  5. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not super at identifying hawks or falcons. This one had a lot of blue/grey on the back of the wings and when it crash landed in the ivy I saw a lot of solid rust color where its wings were spread and onto the tail. It also had very strong markings on the head.
    It is so hard to get a really good look at one while trying to gather 14 chickens that are freaking out. (Not sure who was more freaked out them or me.)
    I do not allow unattended out time because of a prairie falcon that was sitting on my fence a while back. That one I got a good look at since it was close to the dining room window.
    I think in the spring I will make trollies to grow grass on so I can wheel them into the run instead of letting the girls out.
    We have had so many thousands upon thousands of acres burn this year in Colorado. I feel bad for all the displaced wildlife. Just not bad enough to let them have a chicken dinner in my yard.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    If it was a kestrel, or even a sharp-shinned for that matter, I surprised the chickens did not hammer it when the little guy landed. Even my 6 week old juvenile games will flog a grounded kestrel.
     
  7. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had the treat bucket in my hand and had been trying to round them all up. I am thinking I had their attention or they would have been on the little fellow.
    Years ago I had a flock of BA's that took care of a very large snake inside the barn. Dive in and hit then dive out. Chickens can be just plain crazy.
    It was quite a sight for the neighbors I am sure. Me with a treat bucket and a nutty small falcon bombing us.

    I am so glad I read lots and lots on here before I built the run. It has a welded wire top.

    I found this picture in Wikipedia. This is the strong markings for sure. I am rather convinced it had to be a kestrel after seeing this pic.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Below is a sharp-shinned which is also pretty small and in sunlight appears to have blue-grey wings and tail if adult. Bird in imae appears juvenile.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Crazy how beautiful they are.
    So very glad I was out there with them. They just cannot be out in the yard anymore. The nutty thing went for a hen with me right there.
     
  10. Rustywreck

    Rustywreck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Speaking of beautiful, has anyone else noticed that when there is a difference in appearance between the male and the female of a species, the male is always the best looking???
     

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