Hawks stink!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by juliect, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. juliect

    juliect Songster

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    Niota, TN
    Yesterday evening I was in the backyard with the my older pullets, don't let them out unless I am there to supervise (yes, I am an overprotective parent [​IMG]) When a Cooper's Hawk came swooping in and tried to pick off Beth (my buff colored EE), with me no more than 50 feet away. That was the largest Cooper's I have ever seen...ok...maybe the stress of the situation added to my perception...but it looked huge. [​IMG]

    Thankfully he missed and all my girls made it to the safety of a nearby hedge row, but that hateful hawk wouldn't fly away even with me standing at the base of the tree, yelling (yes, my neighbors know that I am crazy by now). I finally hurled a rock at him & got him to leave. Then to beat it all...a storm blew in while I was searching the hedge row trying to find the girls...I felt like Dorothy. It took nearly 3 hours to find 4 chickens...by the time I got them back in the coop we all were soaked & windblown. Gah! What an evening!

    What is it with hawks lately? I have never known them to be THAT brave before.

    This morning my girls won't leave the coop...not that I blame them. [​IMG]
     
  2. Lady Henevere

    Lady Henevere Songster

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    A Cooper's hawk has been after mine too. It has swooped down twice while we were standing in the yard with the chickens. Last time was just yesterday. Here, mockingbirds and crows harass the hawks; I'm thinking about ways to attract more mockingbirds and crows to the yard (but not near the chickens) so they will help out a little by patrolling the nearby trees.
     
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Sorry for your lousy evening. Hawks are very bold. What's worse is now you will probably have to keep your chickens in lock down for about a week because the hawk will most likely be hanging around for a while. A covered run space is essential. I let my girls free-range at least once a day under my watchful eye, but they spend the majority of their time in an enclosed run. I lost a hen to a hawk attack this spring. First time in 2+ years. [​IMG]
     
  4. juliect

    juliect Songster

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    Quote:My neighborhood is not short on crows or mockingbirds. There is a large section of pine trees along the back side of my property that is filled with crows (probably doesn't help that I have been feeding the crows for years), so I keep one ear tuned to the crows when the chickens are out. That was one thing that caught me off guard, the neighborhood was completely quiet when the hawk suddenly showed up...I think I need to fire the crows for shirking their duties yesterday [​IMG]

    Hawks are frustrating, aren't they?
     
  5. juliect

    juliect Songster

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    Niota, TN
    Quote:Lockdown probably won't be a problem...my chickens show no signs of coming back outside anytime soon...bless their little frightened hearts. They came out into the covered run this morning just long enough for breakfast and then ran back inside.
     
  6. Quillgirl

    Quillgirl Songster

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    I lost one of my seven to a hawk a few days ago. Took her with me standing about 3- 4 feet away... very bold and very precise. My hens stayed in their house for several days and just started venturing out into their run more last night and this morning. They are more alert to hawk noises, and any time they hear that screech they scurry inside and huddle for a little while. Listened to a nearby owl at dusk last night and didn't seem to care, but hawk noises scare the dickens out of 'em at the moment.[​IMG]

    I really can't let them free-range, even with me right there. Our hawks seem to be aware that humans aren't very capable of stopping them.

    (Guns are out of the question, so don't even go there.)
     
  7. juliect

    juliect Songster

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Niota, TN
    Quote:I am so sorry for your loss. That must have been horrible to go thru. [​IMG]

    Yeah, no guns...but I used to be good with a slingshot in my childhood...any law against those? [​IMG] My grandfather taught me how to use one...he actually successfully hunted squirrels and rabbits with his....although the only living thing I could turn mine on were my brothers [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009
  8. Lady Henevere

    Lady Henevere Songster

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    Los Angeles County
    Quote:Yes! I thought we were free of daytime predators here in suburbia. What do you feed the crows? Do they usually keep hawks away?
     
  9. juliect

    juliect Songster

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Niota, TN
    Quote:Yes! I thought we were free of daytime predators here in suburbia. What do you feed the crows? Do they usually keep hawks away?

    Leftover bread, scrambled eggs, dog food, cat food (cat food is a favorite among mockingbirds & crows alike), whatever I have laying around...crows will eat most table scraps as well. Every now and then I will feed them a can of sardines or tuna. I keep dried, cracked corn out in the Winter, 24/7. The mockingbirds will actually fly onto my backporch and eat the dry cat food out of the dish with the cats sitting nearby (lazy cats)

    The mated pair of crows that live nearest my house actually come into the tree by my back porch and "call" me in the mornings. I will take them whatever I have at the time and give them a special treat. I've been feeding them for about 5 years. They and their young aren't afraid of me, while the other crows in the neighborhood view me with caution, but still accept the handouts if I am safely out of range.
     
  10. geosheets

    geosheets Songster

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    Quote:I never knew that crows would harrass a hawk. I have been told they like to harrass roosting great horned owls. Great horned owls are sometimes a predator of juvie hawks also. Perhaps a roosting GHO decoy may help. Something I haven't tried yet but I just might.
     

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