Chickens Communicating With Wild Birds

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by abigailjt, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. abigailjt

    abigailjt In the Brooder

    Oct 22, 2018
    Durham, NC
    This isn't so much a question as it is something really cool I witnessed today! We are in an urban area and can't have roosters for protection, but there are quite a few hawks. We lost a pullet to a hawk several months ago, but haven't had an attack from one since that day. I've been seeing more around, likely because of winter so I've been spending more time outside just to make sure my girls are protected. Well I've been noticing that they go and hide when there's a hawk around. Today I realized that every time a hawk shows up in the sky above, a crow caws or another wild bird, and the chickens hear it, and that's their cue to hide! I was amazed! Has anyone noticed this with their flock before?
  2. JudysMuscovy

    JudysMuscovy Songster

    Dec 26, 2015
    I have noticed that also- pretty cool I think
  3. LlamaGirl4

    LlamaGirl4 Crowing

    Nov 2, 2018
    NW Ohio
    Hawks around here like go eat poor pretty blue jays so whenever my flock hears a blue jays warning call, my roos crow and warn the hens. It’s amazing!
  4. Naser

    Naser Songster

    Oct 29, 2014
    Funny one

  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    It is easy to see interspecies communication about raptors. Wild birds have no trouble doing it with others. Chickens listen in on the wild birds, just like we do and in on the chickens as well.
    Brahma Chicken5000, aart and sourland like this.
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Crows have their own language and a particular sound for crows. My pigeons learned that 'word' and would respond by leaving their aviaries and entering the loft. The crows would also harass the larger hawks. Coopers could readily outfly them.
  7. HeyHo

    HeyHo Songster

    May 17, 2018
    Yes, mine do that, too. I'm in a suburban area with many resident hawks (and everything else). My girls clearly listen for the "chatter" of wild birds and respond to certain calls that I can't even hear or decipher.

    I've said it a dozen times and I'll say it a thousand more ... but I am continually amazed at what chickens just "know" without ever having been taught by another chicken.
    abigailjt and [email protected] like this.
  8. MissChick@dee

    [email protected] ~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~

    Aug 18, 2017
    Caliente Nevada
    Yes crows/ravens will run off a hawk. Listening to the wild birds and my chickens to me is very fascinating. My sparrows have one that is a lookout....they take turns while drinking or eating. One call from the lookout and poof they’re gone! If I walk out and don’t hear or see birds...the hair on my neck kinda stands up. The communication between the chickens is interesting too. They alarm also but unless you’re in tune to it, you won’t know what you’re hearing. You know your birds pretty well when you can understand ~ chickenese’ lol
    deepbluesea, CCUK and abigailjt like this.
  9. HeyHo

    HeyHo Songster

    May 17, 2018
    Yes! I have begun to listen for when things get too quiet. I don't know what all the individual bird calls mean, but when it gets silent in the trees around us, I know enough to be on high alert!
    [email protected] likes this.
  10. texsuze

    texsuze Songster

    Dec 17, 2012
    Texas Hill Country
    We are on acreage, so lots of critter sounds around. When my girls hear the titmice, wrens or chickadees fussing they immediately stop and take stock of their surroundings. A squirrel chattering will put them on High Alert mode. We have ravens this time of year, which are a good alert system, too.

    Usually my girls will see raptors flying high up way before I do, but if I spot something I'll announce loudly "Eye to the sky!" and my girls immediately take cover. They are very good at interspecies communication!

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