Hens and Young Hawk and No Clue

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by sunrise.superman, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

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    I am in northern Colorado too. :frow

    Those hawks can be determined in their attacks.

    The trees do not really help. They hide the hawks while they pick a target though.



    They are designed to fly through very tight spaces.
    :th
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    At this point in season the hawk is full sized. Would need to see feathering to make call on whether is adult or young of year. In my setting most Coopers Hawks are not an issue, even with adult Coopers Hawks. Most of time Coopers are after prey they can easily fly with. Numerous times I have had Coopers come in and perch within a few feet of chickens that are loafing in cover or even dust bathing. The hawks doing this do not seem particularly interested in the chickens themselves, rather they appear to be interested in small songbirds that fly in a little later where the hawk then goes hard after those. The chickens usually do give an alarm when the hawk flies in and out in those instances but do not get overly exited.

    A couple years back I had three Coopers Hawks coming into barn area at different times every day. I never saw them at same time. Two where after songbirds as described above. The other was more consistent with reputation of Coopers Hawks where it targeted juvenile game chickens that were about 10 weeks old, too heavy to carry off. The adult chickens that where all penned seemed to give alarm calls very loudly when this hawk was in and around barn. To stop that problematic Coopers Hawk, I simply released a fully-feathered adult rooster produced by crossing American Game with American Dominique. He was nowhere near as hawk aggressive a game under similar conditions, but would still move towards the hawk when it came in and would slowly try to get to where hawk was perched which was usually less than 10 feet up. The sounds produced were very much like a rooster produces when challenging another rooster he can not get to. There was clearly a lot of display. Someday I will try to get a falconer to come in so sounds can be recorded. I have recordings of response to Great-horned Owls that are very different linked somewhere here on site. Owls are more reliable visitors.


    If your hawk does go after the chickens, it will get only one at a time. Leave carcass in place if it does to by you time getting others confined in a secure location. Coopers and their smaller cousin the Sharp-shinned are good at finding openings. Both can be stopped with deer netting or bird netting when latter is draped over something like 2 x 4 welded wire fencing. I have messed with these guys a lot over the years. They are really cool, but can be persistent in their efforts to be a pain in the butt.
     
  3. sunrise.superman

    sunrise.superman Songster

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    Hi 21hens-incharge! How far North? I'm up by Loveland/Fort Collins.

    That's what I've always heard, too. So far bc I have open yards around me with trees only on the perimeter...and 2 with bird feeders and easy pickin's for a hawk meal...the hawks haven't bothered with my birds at all. I will be using a covered/secure 8x24 run and netting where I'll have the chicken garden and walk in coop entrance...but as a single mom w a 5 yo it's slow going some days. :)

    This one today was surprisingly small. I expected larger for this far along in the summer. He didn't have much heft but potential damage all the same.
     
  4. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

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    We could quite literally be neighbors!! I am in Loveland.

    One of my neighbors opened a chicken buffet when they got birds. I would see hawks on the power pole eyeballing mine then grabbing a younger (lighter) bird from them. I don't think they have any left.

    I have had 2 close calls. A redtailed hawk went after my Delaware while I had the door of the coop off to make adjustments. It was actually on top of her within 30 seconds of me pulling the door off the coop.
    The other was an American kestral. I had to literally step between it and the hen repeatedly to make it break off the attack.

    Don't trust the hawk.
     
  5. Fishkeeper

    Fishkeeper Crowing

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    If it looks really small, are you sure it's not a falcon? They definitely tend to target small birds, and I don't know that they'd go at adult chickens. They look a lot like Cooper's hawks.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Sharp-shinned Hawk is very small. Sharp-shinned for me has only been a problem for penned chicks that were just large enough to not be able to get past 2 x 4 welded wire. The one example for me would have been destroyed by a broody game hen if I did not intervene and pull the hawk out by hand. American Kestrel and Merlin, the only North American falcons that are smaller yet might hang out near chickens briefly, but not a threat to chickens of any size larger than a quail. "Falcon" is a very much over used term when it comes to chicken predators of North America.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
    townchicks, Mimi’s 13 and ValerieJ like this.
  7. sunrise.superman

    sunrise.superman Songster

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    Wow! I'm North Loveland. 41st and Taft area.

    That's a quick hawk and persistent kestrel! I'll keep a sharper eye out then. So far the birds have only seemed on the radar with the neighbor's yard (neighbor wanted the ladies over for a bug meal). I had kestrels using my patio for field mouse and baby rabbit dining when I had property, but haven't seen them close since living in town.
     
  8. sunrise.superman

    sunrise.superman Songster

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    I will hopefully not get a closer look in the future, but if it returns I'll see if I can get photos to help determine what it is. Perhaps sharp shinned? Again, it seemed to be biting off more than it could chew even with my little bantam, but was very persistent. I sent my son out to play in the backyard and as boys do he made enough racket to ward off a return visit.
     
  9. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Free Ranging

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    Ellie is amazing!
     
  10. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

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    I am in the Madison and Eisenhower area.

    The Fox are back in town too.
    Every fall when I drop my coop Windows they are covered in coon tracks. So far none have made it into the run.
     

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