Face to face with a hawk!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Lady_Cluck, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. Lady_Cluck

    Lady_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2009
    Northern Illinois
    Story time! I got to see a hawk up close and personal today. Beautiful and amazing creatures, but this was a little too close...

    There is a very large oak tree and two very large pine trees about 15 feet apart from each other that form a triangle in one part of the barnyard. Six hens and one Pekin duck were scratching and poking about around one of the pine trees. As it was a beautiful late-afternoon day, I grabbed my camera and hoped to snap a couple of good pictures of the birds. So, I sat myself down right under the oak tree.

    Within a couple of minutes (and no good pictures), the birds proceeded to hide completely under the pine tree (figures, the stinkers). Only one was wandering on the outskirts of the low pine tree branches. Suddenly, that bird darted under the tree with the others. No big deal, I thought at the time; this hen is the flightiest of them all and it wasn't surprising to see her dart away. So I turned off my camera, stood up from under the oak tree, walked out from under the branches and away from the protective cover of all three trees and...

    ...and almost walked face-first in to a divebombing hawk! We both screamed in surprise! I'm about 5'5" and those talons were coming straight at my head. I ducked and raised my arms over my face to block a collision, but thankfully all I felt was a huge gush of air. This hawk had good air brakes. [​IMG] And it nearly did backflips to hightail it out of there!! So that's why the chicken darted under the pine tree -- it had nothing to do with being flighty or camera shy! [​IMG] And the hawk didn't even see me sitting under the big branches of the oak tree. The happy ending to this story is that the birds are safe, I am safe, and I don't think that hawk will be back for a few days. [​IMG]

    Darn hawks think I run a drive-through KFC!!! [​IMG]

    DH says, "Why didn't you have your camera on?" [​IMG]
     
  2. Bedste

    Bedste Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2009
    Cut n Shoot Texas
    so now what? Are you going to keep your chickens in the coop or continue to free range? I did not have a face to face encounter but I have seen a hawk checking out the girls..
     
  3. broomgal

    broomgal Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Sand Springs, Oklahoma
    we have a lot of red tailed hawks here- even caught one coming in wings spread for my cat once. So the other day I walk out into the back yard and there sitting on my fence is a hawk and my chickens were happily looking for bugs about 2 feet away completely oblivious!
    I watched that hawk for at least 10 minutes and he didn't move an inch- I was really surprised and can't figure out why he never attacked. Even if he was not hungry I thought he would have remembered and come back later, granted my chickens were as big, if not bigger than he was.
     
  4. Bedste

    Bedste Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2009
    Cut n Shoot Texas
    so are you saying that I should stop worrying so much and let my chickens free range again?
     
  5. Zoopathy

    Zoopathy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2009
    San Diego
    I watched what I think was a little Sharp-shinned hawk dive down after one of my 12-week-olds the other day. They probably outweigh him! I caught him right over the top of them as they were diving under a huge rosemary bush. He did a U-turn and winged it up the hill to sit on my fence. I hucked a couple of twigs his direction, and he took off, but I've got some HUGE trees up the hillside a bit that I know he must be hanging out in.

    I was amazed at the brazenness--I was right there in the yard, not 10 feet from what he went after. The girls still get to wander, and I haven't seen him back. Maybe he knows I have a Bad Dog Owen, too...?
     
  6. Lady_Cluck

    Lady_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2009
    Northern Illinois
    Oh wow, maybe then this hawk DID see me but didn't care!

    The chickens only get to free-range the yard when I am home and working outside in the late afternoons, evenings, and on weekends. Other than that (due to way too many losses to hawks in the day time), they are locked in a sizable covered run that is attached to the barn.

    Tonight they didn't even want to come out!! When a couple of them finally emerged, they mostly hovered by the barn doors. Good instinct, as I'm sure they well know that once a hawk spots a good place to have dinner, it will be back to try again. [​IMG]
     

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