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!

Fearless Red Tail Hawk (graphic)

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by matte, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. matte

    matte Chillin' With My Peeps

    199
    3
    111
    Dec 27, 2009
    BrushyCreekHome.com
    Our rat terriers would not stop barking this afternoon. Walked out and saw a huge red tail hawk in one of our outside pens. The dogs were not more than ten feet away, but couldn't get in. It didn't fly until it saw us.

    This was a full-grown Lavender Orpington rooster......Picked the bones clean. Obviously, this was an earlier kill that we had not noticed, probably yesterday's. The fact that the carcass was still there probably saved some of our others from being killed today.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. thebanthams

    thebanthams Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,570
    32
    163
    Jun 12, 2010
    Safford, Arizona
    Yes Hawks will do that . Hopefully next time you can put nets up so it wont happen again.
     
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,828
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Wow! That is frightening! Hope you can deal with this rascal when he comes back for seconds!
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,221
    798
    291
    Dec 25, 2012
    You are likely dealing with a rascal and a rascalet, because besides this being the apex of the hawk migration cycle, now is also the time of year that hawks pair off. That is quite a lot of chicken for just one hawk to eat at one table. BTW, the female hawk can be twice as big as the male.
     
  5. gino100

    gino100 Out Of The Brooder

    43
    2
    36
    Dec 25, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    Last winter we came home to see a red tailed hawk in our driveway eating a rabbit. After pulling in, and standing with in 5 feet of it, it never stopped eating. Didn't seem to care one bit we were right next to it. After it was finished it simple flew away. Weirdest thing I've seen living in the suburbs.
     
  6. soler

    soler Chillin' With My Peeps

    431
    9
    101
    May 1, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    it is odd it wouldn't have carried it away over a day - is it possible you are dealing with two different predators? and the hawk was scavenging the corpse? they will def do that. Ie a racoon or opossum dispatched the rooster at night, then the hawk stripped the carcass?
     
  7. pjchick

    pjchick New Egg

    1
    0
    6
    Jun 12, 2010
    I agree that there might have been two different predators. Hawks will carry their prey away. Looks like they were scavenging .
     
  8. GotCoop

    GotCoop Out Of The Brooder

    60
    1
    31
    Jan 10, 2013
    Baker, Fl
    I love my chickens...but also have a respect for the hawks. They have grabbed a few mine...I have a lot more netting protecting feed and water areas...but still balance the threat vs the ability to free range, will always be a trade-off. Last spring I walked away from 8 week olds in my garden for just a couple of minutes and returned to find a hawk standing on a cockrell tearing up the carcass. I just about walked up to it before it left. I also had one fly into the barn and get caught flying in the rafters, took me awhile to chase him out the open doors. Its a balance, love nature and also love my chickens.

    BTW, was out one morning letting the horses out of the barn when a new hampsire hen went zooming by leaving a trail of feathers, I turned around to see a fox hitting the brakes as it came around the corner of the barn. I found three large piles of weathers where they struggled. I've always heard foxes take a chicken without leaving a trace (unlike a hawk) but this one must have been less than proficient at his craft. Up to that point the hen was nameless, but the bald backed hen will be forever known as "foxy".
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by