Brave hawk

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by GoodEgg, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Well ... this one surprised me.

    We were in the yard yesterday working on the chicken coop, about 40 feet from where the temporary pen is set up. I heard a lot of noise coming from the chickens, and I glanced up in time to see a bird fly straight for me and almost over my head. For a second my mind thought that one of my chickens had gotten out and was flying, but I never saw a chicken fly that well!

    It was a big hawk. Don't know what kind, it was kind of golden colored with small black flecks all over and a BIG beak. It would have been beautiful if it hadn't been after my chicks. Fortunately, it didn't get any.

    I didn't see exactly what happened, but the hawk did fly up from the pen. I think the covering must have stopped it. I'm so glad ... I bought a roll of plastic garden netting for the top and attached it with bread twist ties. I wasn't sure if that would be very strong.

    Sigh ... now that hawk knows where my chicks are and is brave enough to come down on the top of the pen ... while two people are standing 40 feet away and making a lot of noise.

    I was really surprised. I didn't think hawks would be so brave. I'm glad the ducks must be too big for them to try for now. They're pretty big ducks, maybe bigger than the hawk. I know they can eat them in place, and could easily kill them, but the ducks are too used to ranging to be penned up now. They do watch the sky carefully and let me know (usually!) if anything at all is there, but this hawk came from over the house and down onto the chicks, I think. I never saw him, and neither did they.

    At least the chicks have learned what hawks are now, and hopefully will watch out and warn one another. That was scary for me to see! And now I have to worry about the kitten too. He's much smaller than a chicken and likes to perch on the clothesline poles, right up there in a hawk's easy range!

    Ugh ... I hate predation of pets. Still getting over the snakes that came inside, and one ate my daughter's gerbil.

    trish
     
  2. Wolfpacker

    Wolfpacker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2007
    Raleigh
    I posted this in a thread several days ago. On one of the first days I had my chicks in the yard, they were in a little 3x4 pen I made, covered on each side and top with chicken wire. I was sitting in a chair less than 3 feet from them keeping an eye on them and reading. Suddenly, a big hawk swooped down from behind me, realized the wire was there, and flew up to sit on my second story roof where he stared down at us until a crow chased him off.
     
  3. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    Several weeks ago a hawk came down after my chickens in their run and got caught up in the netting for over 5 minutes. My Dad said it was funny because my rooster was the first in the coop screaming his head off. But the netting held up great no rips or tears. I've had it up for a couple years now. Glad your chickens are ok
     
  4. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Wow ... yeah they definitely are not afraid of people. I still remember a video clip from one of those tv video shows (I think America's Funniest, although this wasn't funny to me when I imagine the feelings of the kid in the video) where someone got a new pet mouse and had it outside the cage outdoors and a hawk or something swooped in and got it from them.

    I wonder if I should put something on the wire to make it more visible? Little scraps of fabric or something tied here and there ... maybe they would see it sooner and just keep away.

    Don't know but ... wow. Looking online at pics, I think it was a red-tailed hawk. They get pretty big, up to 4-1/2 foot wingspan AND they hunt the same areas, it says.

    My free-range chicken plans may have to change. At least for the banties. And they were going to be my warning-roos, I had hoped.

    trish
     
  5. lurky

    lurky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    We have a 55 lb Brittany and one day big red tailed hawk went after a robin in flight and knocked the robin (still alive) [​IMG] into my dogs chain link pen. So the robin was on the floor of the pen and charlie did not see it. The hawk had charlie's attention as it dove down for the robin again. As the hawk landed in the pen, charlie jumped on top of the hawk. Somehow, (charlie must not have known what to do with this huge bird) the hawk flew straight up out of the dog pen. Well charlie kept looking up for the hawk as it was coming back for more, and we got the robin out of the pen and into a spruce tree. So the dog was fine, the hawk was fine and 2 hours later the robin flew away and he was fine too. Our nerves....SHOT [​IMG]
     
  6. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Didn't see your post, Ivy, cuz I was typing. I thought about whether a hawk could get tangled in that wire. I'm glad to know it's strong enough. If a hawk got tangled in mine he'd have to stay tangled ... I don't want to get near a beak and claws that size!

    And Lurky ... wow. I would probably freak out if I had a dog tangling with one of those. They are HUGE! I'm glad Charlie was ok!

    trish
     
  7. Wolfpacker

    Wolfpacker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2007
    Raleigh
    I saw that video. It was a man and a little boy and they were taking a hamster out of its cage and they put it on a picnic table where they were sitting. Suddenly, within seconds, a hawk swooped down literally inches from their faces and grabbed the little hamster. Unbelievable.
     
  8. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

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    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    Well, if this thread doesn't convince everyone with poultry to put netting/hard wire/covering over their runs, nothing will!
     
  9. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    I was really surprised. I didn't think hawks would be so brave.

    I was walking down my driveway back from the mailbox when a hawk swooped down from the trees (my driveway cuts through the woods) and grabbed the shoulders of one of my cats. That cat is 14 lbs. He barely got his front feet 2 inches of the ground before having to let him go. My cat then jumped up about 4 feet just in time to grab a tail feather.

    I was only about 10 feet from this!!! Hawks are brave when they're hungry. I also had one fly into the window that my cockatiels cages is in front of.

    Once you finished the coop you should probably invest in a good strong net. One designed for keeping hawks and owls out. The garden netting is very easy to tear. I tested my net when I first got it by putting my fingers in the openings and trying to tear it. Didn't tear, I'm stronger than I look too. I think with my net something 75 lbs. or more has to hit it going very very very fast before it'll break.

    Note the super strong game bird netting on my chicken yard:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007

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