How Long for a Hawk to Lose Interest?


14 Years
Jul 10, 2009
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
The tradeoff for the large run made from electric poultry netting is knowing that I'd lose birds to hawks from time to time. Especially because we hear hawks frequently and often see them on the thermals overhead. The time has come.

Of course it was one of the female olive egger chicks (8 weeks), and not the crossbeak. We actually saw the hawk sitting on a nearby fence -- while my stupid birds, who are too used to both hawks and small aircraft overhead, ignored it.

So they're locked up for now.

How long does it normally take before a hawk loses interest and goes back to eating rabbits, squirrels, and the rest of the abundant garden-destroyers?
If your birds are in the area the hawks are hunting then there’s a risk. The hawks won’t ignore a meal when they’re hungry.
If your birds are in the area the hawks are hunting then there’s a risk. The hawks won’t ignore a meal when they’re hungry.

I know that there is always a risk.

But I haven't had one hang out near the run before. The past 2 years I've only seen them overhead on the thermals and heard them -- despite the fact that the summer of 2020 they were nesting just inside the woodline.
Unfortunately, we have found that it depends upon the hawk. We had a red tailed hawk hang around only a couple of days before leaving. We also had a cooper's hawk who showed up on and off for a several of months.
I should note that my birds became very hawk savvy after our first and so far 🤞only hawk loss. We locked them up for four or five days after failed each failed hawk attempt. After 3 failed attempts and being charged at full speed by myself or my daughter😆, the cooper's hawk tended to leave my flock alone.
My neighbor's flock, however, is very stupid when it comes to hawks. They also don't lock them up at all after hawk losses, so they lose one every other month or so. The hawks seem to have learned that they can get a easy meal next door🙁
At my place it all depends on time of year. The hawks seem to always know that my birds are here, but only seem to come around during lean months. I guess they prefer the regular woodland fare most the time, but are opportunists and will come for my birds when they are hungry. Sorry for your loss. I don' think there is a set time it will keep its interest. All hawks and situations are different.
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