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Hawk Close Call - Whew!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BigSkyChickens, May 17, 2010.

  1. BigSkyChickens

    BigSkyChickens Free Bird

    Apr 3, 2009
    Pleasant Hill, CA
    I was in the kitchen looking out at Tammy Wynette and Gobbles free range. The two chickens were in an area which I generally had thought of as safe, because it has the "cover" of redwood trees on one side and the enclosed garden on the other side (Thank goodness my slow chicken was locked up in "broody-jail").

    DBF was taking a Sunday morning nap on the air mattress that I had put outside for myself (so I could keep an eye on the "little girls" for their first couple of nights outside - okay, don't tell me none of you have ever slept out side the first few nights your chicks were outside!).

    I was thinking to myself, 'oh, a hawk would be totally scared of that massive white blob of blankets.......' WRONG!

    Swwwwwooooooop, went the hawk. I went running for the backdoor as fast as I could. Tammy and Gobbles jumped on top of John's head while he was sleeping! John was startled awake and popped up out of the covers when the girls landed on his head, which scared the hawk away. I got there in time to see the hawk fly from from its landing spot - out of a tree at the edge of the neighbor's yard, over the top of the neighbor's house.

    I knew free ranging was a calculated risk, but now I have been personally warned & humbled. I'm so grateful my girls are OK. [​IMG]

    Does anyone know which kind of hawk has a mottled tail? I'm in Northern Cal.

  2. lizareny

    lizareny In the Brooder

    May 10, 2010
    What wouldn't I give to of seen this on YouTube....ahhhhh . Oh, and grats on not losing any of you birds.
  3. buff

    buff Songster

    Apr 29, 2010
    Shippenville, PA
    Sorry, to hear about the hawk they can become a big problem. I had a coopers hawk and redtail hawks catch some of my chickens. I do know coopers hawk live everwhere in the United States all year long. Here is a website that I went to try and figure out what kind of hawk it was. http://www.allaboutbirds.org I hope this website will help you figure out what kind of hawk it is.
  4. dsmith1427

    dsmith1427 Hatching

    May 2, 2010
    smart chickens.... do you think they knew waking your DBF would scare off the hawk?
  5. BigSkyChickens

    BigSkyChickens Free Bird

    Apr 3, 2009
    Pleasant Hill, CA
    Thanks for your replies and thanks for the link, buff. I love birds, and that looks like an awesome site.
  6. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    A lot of them have transitional mottled tails before they molt into their adult plummage...redtails, cooper's, marsh, red shouldered, harris to name a few.
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  7. Last year, I saw a red-shouldered hawk swoop down about 20 feet in front of me and take a baby quail. Needless to say, I don't let my hens free range. I'm glad yours go away!

  8. BigSkyChickens

    BigSkyChickens Free Bird

    Apr 3, 2009
    Pleasant Hill, CA
    The hawk was back this morning. Landing on the roof of the shed next to the chicken run.

    I got a chance to look at him a little (before I ran at him full speed screaming to "Get the _____ away from my chickens!").

    Based on the site buff recommended, it's either a Cooper's or a Sharp-Shinned hawk. I wish I could have studied him longer (he really was beautiful), but my chicken-momma instincts got the best of me. [​IMG]

    Unlike me, the hawk is patient, and unemotional. I know he will be back, so I'll get to work on a heavy-duty tractor for my girls. [​IMG]
  9. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    I use fireworks to keep the hawks at bay and it works great, they have learned where the no fly zone is and pretty much stay out,when they do start venturing in the area, i break out a rocket and just shoot it straight up , with a big bang they leave .

    Some times they will even act like they are hit, funny to watch them spiral downward like i got them, but never came close.LOL

    I understand not everyone lives where they can do this but if you do it will work.
    Last edited: May 27, 2010

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