Are hawks scared of humans?

Runner duck mom

Songster
Nov 15, 2017
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I'm curious to hear your thoughts/ experiences with hawks attacking ducks and if human presence is enough to keep them safe.
We have 3 runners that are in a covered run most of the day but we do let them out in the afternoons to forage and run around while we clean their pool. We are always with them when they are loose in the yard and they never really wander too far from us. Our yard is fairly wooded with lots of big oak trees.
This morning we were sitting on the porch when there was a huge commotion, ducks yelling and wings flapping. Looked up to see a pretty big hawk flying away from their run and back into the trees, I guess it didn't realize that they were all fenced in and tried to attack. Of course I go running out, cussing at it and grabbed to hose to give it a good blast of water (seemed like a good idea, lol) We had not previously seen any hawks hanging out in the yard or checking out the ducks but know that there are many in the area.
What I'm wondering, is it still safe to let them out in the yard as long as we are with them? How afraid are hawks of humans? At any time we can get to the ducks in a matter of seconds if they are in any kind of trouble.
I know the obvious answer is to not let them out but they really enjoy it and we like sitting with them as well.
Any thoughts and experiences would be greatly appreciated :)
 

ValerieJ

Straw parade on snow day
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 24, 2016
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It depends on how motivated they are. In our neck of the woods, we went through a couple months of scarce fish in the river. The bald eagles always eat fish here, but during that time every one around here with chickens lost a few. One neighbor was not 10 feet away from his chicken when an eagle swooped in and grabbed it. Eagles are more powerful than hawks, mainly because they are simply huge. We don't have any hawks that large around here, so I'm not completely sure of this.
 

Runner duck mom

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Nov 15, 2017
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We do keep eyes on the ducks the whole time they are loose in the yard because I'm always paranoid something will swoop in and try to get them. We do live right near a major airport so of course they are on alert for every plane that flies over too :)
I cant even imagine having to worry about eagles! I saw a bald eagle once in NY and they sure are big.
 

Runner duck mom

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Nov 15, 2017
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I wouldn't count on it.
Have read numerous stories about predators attacking with humans very close by.
Thats what I'm afraid of :( Ive seen quite a few of those stories too. Was hoping we wouldnt have to worry too much until it gets cold and the leaves are off the trees.
I suppose keeping them in for a day or 2 would be a good idea to see if the hawk returns...the ducks will be displeased :/
 

CoriM

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Jun 6, 2019
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I've been wondering the same thing. When I let my ducks out into my backyard to forage, they are either right outside my kitchen window, or I'm working somewhere nearby outside. Everytime they tilt their heads up I'm out there looking. My house is surrounded by woods, and I'm super paranoid about something getting one of my girls. I see hawks quite a bit, but usually super high up, and I usually stand around with the ducks until the hawk gives up.
 

FortCluck

Hatch-a-Long Queen
Sep 9, 2019
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Thats what I'm afraid of :( Ive seen quite a few of those stories too. Was hoping we wouldnt have to worry too much until it gets cold and the leaves are off the trees.
I suppose keeping them in for a day or 2 would be a good idea to see if the hawk returns...the ducks will be displeased :/
I strung up fishing line in my free range area. About every 2 feet, it goes across the whole yard, it was a tip from a friend that's had chickens for 10+ years. We had a hawk attack and after it happened that's when I put it up... They will not come in the yard anymore because their wing span is more than 2 feet. They fly over the yard and swiftly go away to find food elsewhere.

Nothing is 100% guaranteed, but it's worked for me and this is my experience.
 

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