Do eagles make noise before attacking?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by UrbanEnthusiast, May 27, 2016.

  1. UrbanEnthusiast

    UrbanEnthusiast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2012
    Port Orford, Oregon
    How can you tell if a bald eagle is checking out your flock or just passing through? I just ran out from my house when I heard them calling and chased off a pair who were circling high overhead, but wouldn't they be quiet if they were planning to attack? I don't know!
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    They, like most predators, strike without warning noise. They don't actually make a lot of noise in general - the screetch heard in movies is dubbed in, like most animal noises (Noticably all the faked horse sounds in most films).
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Do your chickens free range? Do they have cover? We have a nesting pair of bald eagles here, and many that pass through during migration, and have not had a problem with them. But we do live in a rural area, there is a big slough right across the road from us with plenty of geese and ducks (It's kind of fun during migration when we have thousands of geese on the water and an eagle buzzes the slough - the sky is black when they all get up) so they have enough food sources without my chickens being on the menu. My chickens also have lots of good cover, so if something does fly over, they can hide. We also have turkey vultures that roost in our grove. It's fun to watch the hens when one flies over them. They vanish.
  4. azjustin

    azjustin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    Sure: they make a swoosh, whump, then crushing noise....

    Out here, if a hawk circles more than once, there is interest in the ground below. All of our coops are predator proof and the hawks still check it out once a week to make sure we haven't left a door open or let a couple of tasty treats roam free.

    They're silent predators, at least out here. Can't even recall a sound made during a fight with another hawk....
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Generally, raptors of concern with chickens that circling overhead are not engaged in hunting at that point in time. They are more concerned with some sort of display usually at a another raptor or nest threat. The circling can also be an indication the bird is using thermal to get higher up, possibly to aid with flying to a more remote location or to facilitate display.

    Hunting hawks I see seldom higher than tree level. They are not always hunting and when they are vocalizations are not part of the process.
  6. azjustin

    azjustin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    At any given time I can spot 4+ hawks circling within a mile of us.

    However, we are in the open desert and the tree line is around 20' or less, surrounded by sparse brush. The higher the hawks are, the more they can see, so they are waaay up there usually. The ravens are the only ones that hang out under 100'.

    These factors will always vary by climate, just pay attention to your surroundings and it's not hard to figure out when the hawks are just hanging out or looking for a chicken dinner.

    Good luck.

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