1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Cooper's Hawk taken residence on my fence - How concerned should I be?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by PortlandChick, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. PortlandChick

    PortlandChick Out Of The Brooder

    32
    0
    32
    Mar 20, 2011
    I have 7 hens that range from a giant cochin to a tiny bantam frizzle. Today I walked outside to see a hawk, which I later researched and realized it was a Cooper's Hawk, sitting on my fence. The chickens free range the yard all day and were on the other side of the yard at the time. I shooed him off and hung out with the chickens for a bit, not thinking he was really a threat. But he kept showing up and for safety I put the chickens back in their run when I went inside. They're not thrilled with being stuck in the run, but I wanted to get some insight on how to get rid of this hawk - still hanging out in the yard and not too concerned with me. He just changes position on the fence when I get too close, almost lazily. How concerned should I be about my chickens? They are very loved pets so I want them to be safe, but happy as well and able to roam the yard.
     
  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    10,367
    82
    328
    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    Be EXTREMELY concerned. I've lost birds THROUGH 1/2" welded wire to Coopers Hawks. I would recommend keeping the girls in for a few days to see if he gets bored and moves on, but there are electronic owls you can get that turn their heads and hoot when the motion sensors go off, I have one, I love it. You do have to move it periodically, or the hawks get wise. Also, you can hang up CD's to reflect light / be a source of motion, and you can zig zag fishing line over your yard to make it harder for the hawks to swoop in, though Coopers Hawks are smaller, and may not be deterred by that like the big red tails are....

    I can't free range my birds (except a couple at a time, and only when I'm home) because we have to many hawks and a pair of bald eagles that like to sit in my trees and stare at my birds.... [​IMG]
     
  3. Linn Bee

    Linn Bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    He doesn't raise chickens, but my M-I-L had two Cooper's hawks set up residence on his back fence. Said there were no rabbits, cats, birds, etc. in the neighborhood after about two weeks.

    He was told that mounting an owl or two would get rid of the hawks. He put one fake owl on his garage roof and one in a nearby tree. The hawks left and haven't returned. Whether they were migrating through or had planned to stay he doesn't know.

    He was concerned for his small dog.

    Just a thought for you.

    Love, Linn B (aka Smart Red) Gardening zone 5a - 4b in south-est, central-est Wisconsin
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,190
    7,485
    726
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Be concerned! I have had Cooper's hawks kill chickens twice their size. Pigeons, chicks, bantams are no problem whatsoever to them. Last autumn I heard a commotion outside the computer room window. When I looked out I saw that a Cooper's had a ringneck cockbird pinned to the ground just outside the window. I ran outside and chased the hawk off of the pheasant which ran under my deck. All day long the hawk kept returning to my deck hoping to get another chance at the pheasant.
     
  5. PortlandChick

    PortlandChick Out Of The Brooder

    32
    0
    32
    Mar 20, 2011
    Thank you for all the responses. They are in their run squawking their heads off, but I'm so glad now that I just happened to be outside and did put them in. They are my babies and I would be devastated to lose one in this way, especially one of my little bantams. I'll be looking into the owls and the other ideas. If there are any other thoughts out there, please share! Thanks again for the responses.
     
  6. chickens? not yet

    chickens? not yet Chillin' With My Peeps

    266
    1
    93
    Jun 21, 2011
    Kingman, AZ.
    Quote:They have great taste!![​IMG] You have the prettiest birds!!
     
  7. crazyhen

    crazyhen Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,194
    77
    244
    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    Another name for the Cooper's hawk is CHICKEN hawk. [​IMG] In fact we never use the official name. They are the most likely hawk to attack your chickens, ducks etc. [​IMG] They live on small birds too. One got a Blue bird not 15 feet from me. [​IMG] Gloria Jean
     
  8. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    10,367
    82
    328
    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    chickens? not yet :

    Quote:They have great taste!![​IMG] You have the prettiest birds!!

    [​IMG] Thanks!​
     
  9. PortlandChick

    PortlandChick Out Of The Brooder

    32
    0
    32
    Mar 20, 2011
    He is very determined. He is sitting on the fence as close to the door of the chicken run as possible. This is where I am so glad we didn't go cheap on the wire for the run - they are in a chicken Fort Know. I know they are unhappy as they are used to running like crazy around the yard all day, but better safe and bored then hawk dinner.

    Any thoughts on how long it takes for one of these guys to give up or is he here to stay? I did spray him with a water bottle and am continuing to go out every half hour to scare him off which as been great for my work to do list today.
     
  10. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    10,367
    82
    328
    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    I don't know how territorial they are, or how determined... [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by