Hawk nesting question

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Kessel23, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. Kessel23

    Kessel23 Hi Bug

    Feb 6, 2018
    Hi Hannah
    Ok so I have 2 red tailed hawk nesting pair on my property, one is around 1,500 feet away from the coop and the other is only like 100 feet from it, right behind it. I have had no hawk deaths yet this year :yesss: I will call the far away pair pair A because they have been around for years, the close one will be pair B because they are new this year. Well anyways the 2 pairs fought a lot a few weeks ago. I think pair A is mad that pair B moved in so close. Their fights are weird, the two pair slowly circle up into the sky and try to gain height on each other, once one bird is a good distance above the other one he dives down and tries to knock 1 from the other pair out. In the most recent fight Male A dived at Male B and B responded by also diving downward to escape, they went down for a few seconds and then A stopped the dive and then B stopped. Soon after Female A did the same to female B. This is what all the fights I have seen looked like. They have stopped now.

    Pair A seems to win every encounter but has still not pushed pair B from their nesting spot. To further add to the drama a massive murder of crows has moved in and constantly mobs both pairs. The crows have had no effect on the hawks and they honestly couldn't care less so yeah I guess crows might be slightly overrated...

    So my question is, do Red Tailed hawks hunt near the nest site? I ask this because I have not had a single hawk attack yet. I do have 3 roosters and 2 cockerels, are they really just that effective at alerting the hens to the hawk's presence? I let my birds free range a lot and the hawks are always circling around just above the trees next to the coop, or they are sitting up in the trees preening themselves. I know experienced red tails will not attempt a hunt if their prey is aware of them so maybe they just never try? And I know these guys are effective chicken hunters, my neighbors have 6 hens and lost 3 of them in the same day to hawk attacks, 2 of them were for sure pair B, the other they did not see, they just found a big chicken feather donut on the ground and no hen. Attack 3 was definitely a red tail attack though because it was able to lift a heavy Jersey giant up and out of there.
    And no, my neighbors do not have a rooster.

    So are my roosters just destroying the hawks chance of hunting or do the hawks just not like to hunt around the nest site? I remember hearing something about harpy eagles not hunting around the nest and golden eagles because it draws other predators to the area and they do not want to risk a predator finding the nest. The neighbor's coop is about the same distances from pair B as mine is from Pair A.
    N Sully and Abriana like this.
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I think it's wonderful that you are getting to see this behavior up close; have you been able to take any photos? Mother Nature in action!
    On the other hand, hungry 'hawklings' will need to be fed, and your flock will be very convenient for their parents to harvest. It sounds like a big covered run, or something, is going to be needed.
    Your roosters may make a difference, or not. I do hope that they help!
    N Sully and Kessel23 like this.
  3. Kessel23

    Kessel23 Hi Bug

    Feb 6, 2018
    Hi Hannah
    Thanks, I have not gotten any photos yet, I will start to try. My run is over 300 square feet and covered, I think I will be able to keep them confined if the hawks do start to successfully hunt them.
    N Sully likes this.
  4. RWise

    RWise Songster

    Dec 25, 2012
    Oakhurst Oklahoma
    I too have hawks, and crows, the hawks have a nest on the south side of my farm. They mostly go after squirrels, but with new babies comes training, and when they get close all it takes is one blast of light bird shot and they move off and dont come back. (No need to try to hit them)
    Now if you shoot at a crow, it will tell others, and they will recognize you for many miles around you, for a long time! And when they spot you they will start calling warnings,,,

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