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Hawk attack - Im so sad!UPDATE! PIGEON CAME BACK!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Mom 2em All, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Songster

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    Right now I am in actual disbelief. I live in a very populated suburb with my illegal chickens- and the biggest worry I have had are my own dogs- or a stray cat, for the most part. Too many powerlines for me to worry about a hawk coming down. Never see them here anyhow.
    I do wildlife rehabilitation. I had four pigeons, and they never left- so, they flew free but roosted on my house and knew where their meals were, so they stuck around.
    Then there were two. i assumed that the two just left and found somewhere else to exist. Then there was one- same assumption.

    Well we got around nine inches of snow this morning. I was out shoveling and my Golden retriever and my pit bull were wrestling in the snow.
    All of my chickens were in their coop- which I made fun of them for. They were acting freaked out. I joked that they thought they were California birds...not supposed to have snow. One hen wouldn't stop cackling soooooooo loud.
    A hawk came out of nowhere- and snatched the pigeon right out of my chicken yard, about three feet from me. Almost dropped the pigeon, and was only about four foot off the ground across my yard and my Golden and my Pit almost caught it. It did drop the pigeon- after leaving a trail of pigeon flight feathers and/or tail feathers and a zillion little feathers. The pigeon just plopped into the snow- and I called off the dogs- but before I could get to it, the pigeon flip flopped into the air, couldn't get any real flight to it, and dropped down into someone elses back yard.

    I am sure its dead or dying- and I am not going to try and recover it.

    I am in shock. I would have never guessed that a hawk would even appear- much less come down with me and the big dogs out there. I have no idea what kind of hawk. It was definitely not a red tail...and it was huge.
    AND now I am very sad. I fear for my hens- and I cant put up netting in the middle of this winter. I can in the spring- but not now with everything frozen and buried under snow. I know it will be back...my chickens are sitting ducks.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009

  2. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    I never thought a hawk would come when I was standing there either. The hawk that attacked my chickens just looked at me when I yelled and screamed and waved my arms at him. He was singularly unimpressed.

    My poor birds have been locked up ever since. The hawks seem very aggressive this season..... We have plenty of mce and squirrels so I am not sure what is up.
  3. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Hawks are brazen and a suburb hawk will not fear people and dogs...they are accustomed to them. Pigeons are a mainstay of city hawks.

    I had one literally fly over my hood at the electric company one day...it tagged a pigeon right out of the air. There must have been 20 people standing around, traffic flying by and cars moving about....never bothered the hawk.

    Sorry you lost your pigeon.
  4. sklingonz

    sklingonz In the Brooder

    Oct 7, 2007
    Kaysville, UT
    I had a hawk get one of my chickens in the spring. Put some hiding spots for the chickens in their yard. Right now I have a piece of latice that is leaning against the fence. They run under there if needed. I will be putting up netting in the spring as well.
  5. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Songster

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    Thankfully out in their yard, I have alot of coverage- which is probably why the girls havent been lost, but now that there are no more pigeons for them- I am freaking out.

    I am sad for the pigeons- however, part of wildlife rehab, I know the hawks have to eat too...just wish I wouldn't have witnessed it.I was perfectly happy with my delusion that they had flown off to bigger and better feeding grounds. And I don't want it to come back and grab one of my girls.

    Before winter, I set up alot of coverage- I wanted them to have somewhere to go to get out of the weather, so I set it up that all over the place they would have shelter. Bushes, boards against the house, there are two rabbit hutches out there full of hay, and hay underneath them. I have twp sawhorses out there with a board across the top, too. Apparently, the large pine tree in the center of their yard is the hawks drive-thru window, however.
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Do you have a run for the chickens or just a coop?
  7. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Songster

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    It is a sectioned off 16' X 24'area of my yard with a privacy fence on one side, my house on the other, and a split-rail covered with chicken wire on the other side.

  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Do you think you could crisscross some string or cord over the top, to make it difficult for a hawk to freely fly down and take them? Maybe with some CDs, that can flash in the sun? It might help, until you can work out a way to cover the area.
  9. Poohbear

    Poohbear On a Time Out

    Nov 12, 2008
    You are the guardian of your flock. Although a hawk and many other animals are predators, so are YOU a predator. The highest form of predator on earth. Will the hawk decide who lives and dies in YOUR yard or will YOU?
  10. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    A guy a couple of streets over has racing pigeons and our neighbourhood redtail has one for breakfast and a song bird for lunch...

    He's also taken Miss MoneyPenny but couldn't take off with her. He came right into my face trying to take off when I went to see why everything was so quiet.

    And they do have to eat. It pains me less to have a hawk take a bird for lunch than it does to have a dog think your babies are a squeakie toy for their playing pleasure.

    Sorry for your loss, though.

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