Hawks - URGH!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Patchofheaven, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. Patchofheaven

    Patchofheaven Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Conroe, TX
    We have had 2 Hawks hanging out in our yard and across the pasture in our neighbors field. Since we have had problems with coons, we have been locking the chickens up every night in their coop. Yesterday, I went to feed and let them out of the coop and as soon as I opened the coop I saw the big hawk fly into the tree above me. Of course this scared the .... out of me. I had no weapon and did not want to leave my babies to go get one. I found a stick and threw it at the hawk - he got the picture and left for a while. Now last night I had nightmares about this hawk.

    Now here is my dilemma, I've tried looking it up on Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Department of Fish & Game's websites and could not find anything:
    Is it illegal to kill a Red-Tailed Hawk?
    If not illegal, will a pellet gun do the trick?

    I don't care for guns, but I will use a bb/pellet gun to scare off critters in my yard. I've seen what a .22 bullet can do and how dangerous the ricochet can be - I just don't like to fool with guns.
  2. jessied1227

    jessied1227 Songster

    Mar 31, 2007
    East Brady, PA
    I believe most hawks are covered by federal laws, killing = big fine if caught.

    Good luck - we have a huge bunch of hawks always circling our place, I just make sure the girls have heavy brush and good places to hide.

  3. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    It is illegal to kill,injure, or capture and hawk...so, my advise.....if you can sit out there with a water hose....turned on FULL blast, and on the ready. When you see that hawk land in the tree.....WASH it. After a few soaks, I dont think you will have a problem. Good luck...be persistant!
  4. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    I also think hawks are protected and I do not know if it is a state by state thing or federal. That could have changed by now though because I read they are thinking of taking the eagles off of the list so maybe the hawks already are?
    Anyway, lol, the gun thing. I myself am having coyote problems, even in daylight, and he was back again at 3:45am this morning thanks to my Guineas warning.. no problems, everyone is lockd up.
    My neighbor has a 22 and wants to give it to me. I know nothing of guns, neither how to take care of them or shoot them. Was never a need where I live. In other more rural parts of the country I know I would have one by the door most likely loaded, but to populated here. Anyway, I can just see myself out there now with this gun I know nothing about, I would probably shoot one of my horses as that is where the coyote comes up from. My daughters boyfriend is going to bring over a BB gun and show me. I think I can handle that at least while I am out there in case he comes out of the woods and tries for one of my little dogs. I am curious about the hawks though as far as them being protected, hope someone knows.
  5. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Songster

    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    Hawks, eagles and all migratory songbirds are absolutely protected under federal law (Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918). And yes, there are BIG fines involved when killing a bird of prey or any other protected bird. The list you're talking about may be the Endangered list...this has nothing to do with whether you're allowed to kill or injure a bird of prey. You're not even allowed to move bird feathers under this law if you find one; it's extremely strict, and for good reason. Around the turn of the century, birds of prey were decimated by hunters and farmers, and birds like snowy egrets were slaughtered nearly to extinction for feathers to go in women's hats. This law and the activism surrounding it was the impetus for the formation of National Audubon (of which I am a proud member [​IMG] )

    So, that red-tail is protected. Do as Justusnak suggested and spray it with water (though, I need to edit this to add: hawks can see a post-it note from a mile away. It's doubtful you'll be able to "surprise" one!). If your chickens are in an uncovered run, put up hawk netting. When hawks hunt my bird feeders in the winter, I take my feeders down for a few days; I don't want my songbirds to die, but I also realize that hawks are hungry and need to eat, too. Remember that if he or she is hunting your yard, it's likely trying to feed juveniles right now. Once they realize there's no easy food available, they'll move on.

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2007
  6. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    Thanks Amy, yes, now that I think of it it was the Endangered list!
    I came home from work one day this winter to find one had broken through the netting in my pen, it was beautiful but deadly looking when I got a close up of those talons and beak. I managed to get it out with a pitchfork and really would have had no idea on how to kill it with no gun and it never entered my mind. It was hungry and obviously desperate for food.
    But thanks for the Federal Treaty Act, I am sure there are others that were not sure like me!
  7. chickenwoods

    chickenwoods Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    Well,I'd say do what you need to do to rid off the hawks,however,whatever...I'm old about to die,i aint puttin up with my hard earned poor livin going to waste over it if theres something i can do about it.

    The regulations are still new to me,i dont think they all came about till recently 40's-50's?? When i was young we didnt have any contact to the outside "big wig" world.We didnt know any diffrent,if we had Problems,we fix it

    but im sure theres got to be some sort of Depredation order.
    I would look into that.
  8. Patchofheaven

    Patchofheaven Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Conroe, TX
    Well, my son let the chickens out of the coop this morning at around 8:00 and went on with our chores. Just a little while ago, I noticed that all of the chickens were in a corner of the pen. The 10 week old roo is gone. We haven't seen the hawks in a few days, but they are flying around right now. We think that one of the hawks must have got it and really frightened the others.

    Now we are down from 12 to 8 chickens. Currently the score is = Raccoons 3 and Hawks 1 - 8 chickens back into the coop with limited pen time.

    I wish that we could afford to cover their pen, it's just too big. (20 ft x 50 ft - it was a former garden that did not do so well) We were planning to make a new chicken coop and run in the next couple of months, but money is just too tight right now.

    Someone had said that predators would not mess with the chickens if we had a goat in the pen with them - Does anyone have experience with goats/chickens?
  9. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    You can pick up some reflective tape at the farm & dog or most garden store. Tie strips of it to your trees, fence posts, clothes line, any place your chickens wander. The light reflecting off of it will confuse the hawks and they won't try to get you chickens. Even some of that shiney ribbon for presents works.
  10. blossom hen

    blossom hen Songster

    Feb 20, 2007
    NE Tx
    Inexpensive, shiny objects such as disposable individual size pie tins work when hung from trees. Another shiny "free" object is the DVDs you get in the mail - most of mine come from AOL. Hang from anything with fishing line or even a wire coat hanger reconfigured. Also, I bought bird netting at Home Depot that was 10' x 50' (I think) for less than $20. It's the kind used on fruit trees and grapevines to protect from birds. Won't be "predator proof" perhaps, but still a deterrent at an affordable price to use in conjunction with the shiny types of things.

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