Hawk Questions

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

  1. ajamichelle

    ajamichelle In the Brooder

    Aug 13, 2014
    New Mexico

    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. :)


  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    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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