HAWK Not Only Swooped But LANDED!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by haymil, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. haymil

    haymil In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2008
    I have been reading about preditors all this week and thinking I'm so glad I have only had to deal with the neighbors dog. However, early this morning I came out to see a hawk ON THE GROUND about 1 foot away from some of the chicks (they had scattered into two groups) that were trying to hide from him in the bushes. I scared it away and he flew up into a tree close by. Then I scared it out of that tree and he flew away. He didn't get anyone, but now it knows where the food is and I am sure he will be back! I have heard of them swooping and getting them, but have you heard of them actually landing and walking on the ground to get them? I don't know what to do other than make their space smaller (and more confined) but they really love the larger space. I was hoping to let them free range on our acre when they get a little older (they are only 7 weeks old). I was thinking of hanging that yellow caution tape along the fences thinking that might scare the hawks?? Silly thinking?? Help!
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2008
  2. ChickaD

    ChickaD Songster

    Aug 6, 2008
    central Vermont
    wow-scary, huh? A few weeks ago we had our first ever (in 9 yrs.) attempted hawk attack, where I saw it swoop down after our BO, who darted under our forsythia bush/jungle just in time. Tweety stayed there a long time, scolding (probably "And don't come back!") I noticed other BYC'ers posting about hawk attacks, so I kept our chickens in, using only their coop & covered run, for a week or two. Now we let them free range in our yard as long as I'm home, but I'm not sure what I'd do in your case with younger chicks. Our 9-week old chicks are kept inside or in the run until they're bigger...but that's just me.

    Hmmm...I wonder if your hawk might have been a younger one, who didn't yet know "all the moves"...I'm surprised it hadn't already grabbed a chick...but glad he didn't!
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2008
  3. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    Yep, I have seen them chase them on the ground, the one I saw do it was a Red Tail.

    I have a large honeysuckle hedge row down the middle of my yard and I saw him chasing the chickens in, around, through and over that hedge row. I saw this from the kitchen window and as I ran towards the excitement yelling and screaming this hawk was no more afraid of me than my chickens were, he only flew off when I was within 15 feet of him.

    The only thing is they are not very fast or agile while on the ground and the chickens were having no trouble avoiding him the short period of time this went on.
  4. yellowdragon

    yellowdragon Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Springville, Indiana
    WOW. hawks are a big thing here. I moved all my coops over the past couple months. They are under cover of trees. Just 3 days ago I was outside working on a new pen and I heard the rooster's warning squack. I look up in time to see a hawk swoop, hit a tree branch, and hit the ground. I had to laugh. It took off after acouple of minutes. Looks like the branches are working.
  5. bluebirdfarm

    bluebirdfarm Songster

    [​IMG] paris tale with happy ending
    Last pm when i got home from work , my Dh said he could not find paris my NN EE, he looked for a 1/2 .
    Well i looked for another 1/2 hour and she was not to be found, all of the others were there , bit no paris ( all 19 of them !).
    So i was really sad when he said , i saw the red tail hawk fly off from a tree behiond the barn whenever i walked up . he must have got paris ! I was really bummed , but did NOT believe that she was gone.
    I told him i was upset and he understood !
    anyway , when i went to close the coop , she came wandering up ! She is a little devil !
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2008

    RASTACHICKI In the Brooder

    Aug 8, 2008
    Mobile, Alabama
    I have seen them swoop down, land and then try to pounce on them as well. It's funny though, b/c they prefer to mess with the BO's more than any other species. I have several small oaks that they get under and hide as well as put shelters in the corners of the run (i.e. propped up plywood they can take cover under in the corners. I have found that they are more wary than ever of birds flying overhead and they use the shelters when they get freaked out. Now if a cardinal or dove flies over the run low they tweek out and freeze up!! It's learn or be eaten. I have considered putting up netting expecially on the days i need to leave town, but i also want them to learn on their own so when i do let them free range they will always be wary.
  7. Wyo Chick

    Wyo Chick Songster

    I have tried tying pink string across my coop and then hanging bright orange reflective tape on the string. It looked really great! But that darn hawk landed between the string and walked into the bushes to kill one of my older hens!!!Yuck, it was sad. Sadly I don't think anything works. If you can I would put them in a dog lot and cover the top until they get old enough to run. We have started putting our dog out in the chicken yard to deter predators.
  8. stacym

    stacym Songster

    Jul 21, 2008
    Kennard, Nebraska
    Quote:It makes you wonder about how much of the color spectrum they can see. One came swooping down towards my dad's RIR's. He had never seen a hawk swoop down in the barnyard the whole 65 years he has lived there. The previous chickens were white leghorns.
    I Have Black Australorps who were free ranging today,when a hawk starting circling. I told my daughter to be prepared to run and scare him off. But he circled a little bit and then left. It was almost like he didn't see them. And they were pretty hard to miss.
    Does anyone know, just how much does a hawk see? Can they see only certain colors?
  9. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    Be careful! I had the same thing happen here too. I also locked them up for a week or so. I haven't seen the Red Tail lately, but I know it's there. Look for the wild birds and squirrels, and what they do, one day I heard a shwoosh of wings and saw mourning doves flying off into the trees, squirrels ran off and froze on branches and everything got deathly quiet.

    A hawk was sitting in a tree waiting.

    Now I only let them out when I'm out and about. And if I have to go into the house for something I'm always looking out the back windows counting chook heads until I can go out and make sure they are all OK. Or, If I'm going to be longer, I get the string cheese and wiggle it for them and they come running into their run for it and I lock them up. Then I feel more comfortable doing what I have to do in the house and not worry about my girls.

    It pays to be safe. [​IMG]
  10. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    stacym - I thought hawks saw the white ones more than others, but if they are hungry anything moving is a target. I've heard they actually take small dogs. And I have a 6.5 lb pomeranian that hangs out with the chickens, I'm sure a hungry hawk will take anything it can get.

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