Hawk Questions

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ajamichelle, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. ajamichelle

    ajamichelle Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 13, 2014
    New Mexico
    Hi!

    I'm new to chicken keeping and just had my first predator encounter. My run is predator-proof when it comes to terrestrial predators (raccoons, coyotes, dogs, etc.) and I have great tree cover. But I awoke this passed week to my chickens making loud alarm clucks. At first, I didn't think anything of it, but upon taking a drink of water, RIGHT when I woke up, I looked out my kitchen window to see what I believe to be an adult red-tailed hawk sitting on my coop run fence, staring at my chickens.

    The hawk was about 3 feet tall and about 18 inches wide (closed wings), and red and stripey.

    My chickens were using the coop as a shield while my rooster was out in the open doing a crazy war dance at the hawk. My roo actually fought him off and protected the chickens. He's a pretty formidable rooster (in my limited experience).

    Upon seeing the hawk I basically choked on my water and ran outside waving my arms and yelling. He wasn't exactly deterred. He flew away when I got within four feet of him and perched on my neighbor's house. I stayed outside and he eventually flew off.

    Of course, I live in a city and wasn't expecting such gigantic predatory birds to be about.

    I haven't really been able to find much information about hawk behavior.

    ---Is the danger from hawks constant all day long (sun up to sun down)?

    ---Can you link me to any resources on BYC, or is my best best to just explore the predator forum?

    ---Would a hawk be willing to walk inside my coop?

    ---Will they stop coming back?

    Thank you in advance! :)

    My wonderful Turken rooster Malory. He'll be 18 weeks old on Saturday. :)

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  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Timing of visits specific to a given hawk's habits. This summer visits for me mid to late after noon but other seasons visits can be at other times. Red-tailed likes to go after stuff it can predict like small rodents which are likely primary reason it visits you. Chickens are just a pleasant surprise.


    A red-tailed hawk will walk into a coop but you have very poswerful repellent in a bird as large or larger than it willing to fight back. Your rooster is rather young to be trying to repel a hawk, mine do not start until at least 32 weeks.

    More likely than not, if the hawk keeps coming back over more than a week or so it is catching something and it does not have to make a catch every visit to make it worth his / her time. Catch likely a rodent like a mouse or vole, but may also be targeting squirrels or rabbits. No catch for a while and it will check other areas. Soon migrants will be involved making predictions less possible.
     

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