ETA: I say "chicken hawk," but I guess it's something akin to a kestrel. It's definitely not a full-size red tail hawk. The past few days, I've noticed a chicken hawk hanging around in my big pecan tree, staring at my chickens and occasionally swooping over the yard. It's been getting bolder and braver, and this morning, I heard my chickens giving a distress call and I looked out to see the chicken hawk dive-bombing one of my easter eggers. Is a chicken hawk a large enough predator to hurt my chickens?? If it is, what can I do to deter it? My chickens mostly know to run and hide when the hawk is around, but if they don't run in time, can the hawk kill them? My boyfriend wants to shoot it, but a). I'm pretty sure that's illegal and b). I don't want to hurt or kill a bird of prey--even if it is a threat. He won't do it..he's just mad, because he's very attached to the chickens (as am I). Any advice would be great. I really don't want to lock them up in their coop all day. They love free-ranging, and they get rowdy when they're locked up. I do have a nest of eggs due to hatch in a few days, so I'm going to have to set something up where the babies will be protected in the coop rather than being allowed to run around the yard, as I imagine a chicken hawk would love to snack on them!!