Huge hawks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by KDOGG331, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Just saw two HUGE hawks circling and I've been seeing them a lot lately. Maybe an even bigger one yesterday. Gorgeous birds. Until they attack a chicken.

    Just heard coyotes the other day too. Makes me nervous about free ranging though. Maybe I'll just keep the chickens in the run haha

    Do you think if I have tons of shelter they'll be okay? We have a lot of trees and shrubs but wide open lawn for hunting so I'm thinking if I add some more trees and shrubs or just some structures around the yard they could hide from the hawks?

    Coyotes are not a daytime issue here but the hawks sure are.

    And these suckers are HUGE. I guess they're hawks? Maybe something else because they are HUGE. I think they're red tails.

    But do you think a huge hawk could take down big birds?

    I'm getting 2 each of Barred Rock, Black Australorp, Buff Orpington, Easter Egger,and one unknown free one, all female, 9 total. Shipped today.

    I didn't think a hawk would touch an Orpington but these suckers are HUGE. White bellies speckled with red. Perhaps juvenile.

    Oddly I've never seen them come down on prey though, only circle
     
  2. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    Over the years I've had Cooper's hawks take many adult LF birds. Lots of cover doesn't always help deter then since they hunt through forests. The red tailed hawks mostly hunt in the open.

    There are lots of migrating raptors this time of year. Had 3 bald eagles circling the yard a week ago.

    This time of year coyotes shouldn't be a daytime issue. They can be a problem in the spring when they have young to feed. Once a few years ago on Memorial Day weekend they wiped out a flock of 15 birds between 10 am and noon. Nothing left but piles of feathers.
     
  3. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Really? Wow, aren't they smaller? That makes sense. I think what I saw were red tails. Would shelter, like an igloo or plywood, etc. And shrubs work for them then?

    I forgot it was migration season too, that probably explains why there's so many. Don't think we've ever had eagles.

    That's good to know, thanks. :) although come spring I'll worry lol

    The dog is good at barking at, from the house or outside, rabbits, squirrels, and turkeys, as well as deer, coyotes, and foxes when we see them. Does not know how to look up at the sky though and/or doesn't recognize sky as his territory and therefore doesn't care about hawks. The one thing I want him to care about. Lol
     
  4. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    My old dog (my avatar) was a great watch dog - Kees are meant to bark. He was surprisingly effective against land predators. He also ignored avian predators, though he would bark to let me know when the roosters were upset about something. It was 2 months after he died we had the coyote massacre.

    Cooper's hawks are small compared to red tails. Cover does help but it won't necessarily stop them. It will really depend on how hungry the hawk is. I've had them dive into bushes and crash into the house chasing chickens. I even had one chase a hen through the 18"x18" pop door into the coop, catching her inside. Right now there seems to be enough food (rabbits, voles, squirrels, wish they'd take a blue jay or 3) that they will only hang out long enough to see if there is an easy meal. Otherwise they move on.
     
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    The Red Tailed hawk is the largest of the 3 so called "Chicken Hawk" species. The female is the largest of the two sexes and a big bruising Red Tail hen hawk tips the scales at 2.5 pounds. The male Red Tail is a pound lighter (at least)

    Starting @ the Mississippii River and continuing West the Red Tail Hawk grows even smaller.

    The two North American eagle species weigh up to 15 pounds or 700% more. I would suggest that you get a good pair of glasses (binoculars) and visually confirm what birds your chickens are threaded with.
     
  6. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Dogs must see their territory as the ground haha ours is meant to bark too, half Great Pyrenees, an LGD, though also half Lab and sometimes chases smaller birds but doesn't care about hawks lol that sucks though, sorry. :(

    But oh wow, I had no idea they were so determined!! That's a bit scary because there's so little to do for prevention
     
  7. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Out of curiosity, what are the other two? But wow, that doesn't seem that heavy considering how big their wings and everything are.

    That makes sense because I've never been out west but I always thought they were smaller birds.

    I held one at a fair one time, they're huge. The two are Golden and Bald, right? I'm pretty sure they're not eagles because I Googled Red Tails and Red Tails in flight and everything and it looks exactly like one and apparently there's three color morphs and the light morph is the most common one in the east?? And it looked just like a light morph but I'm guessing a female? Plus I don't think eagles live around here? At least they're rare. Massachusetts. But maybe not? I will get binoculars though but we have A LOT of Red Tails here and we have a family of them right above where we're putting the chickens and they had babies this year. I highly doubt these are the babies though as they are literally huge
     
  8. pattyhen

    pattyhen Chicks Ducks oh my

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    About 3 weeks ago the hawks were really bad around here. They must have been migrating south. My chickens and ducks free range in the yard so I was really worried about them getting killed by the hawks. Between the rooster and my dog I didn't have one injury. I have a dog that is part australian sheperd and he was going after the hawks when they would swoop down in the yard. He would listen for the rooster and when he gave the hawk alert our dog would come running. If you mention hawk in front of him he looks up in the sky. I've never heard of a dog going after hawks but ours surely did. He didn't catch any but he run quite a few off.
     
  9. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    The two smaller "chicken hawks" is the Coopers Hawk and the Sharp Shinned or Blue Darter Hawk a.k.a. sometimes also called a Quail Darter Hawk. The name Chicken Hawk means that there raptors hunt birds (mainly)

    According to the USFWL Service the Bald Eagle is at, or is approaching its natural population numbers. Bald Eagles in my view are a marine species. This means that they chose to live and nest close to large bodies of water.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
  10. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    That's great your dog was able to chase them off!! :) we're not getting roos but I'm sure the females will make a warning call too and he can pick up on it or I will teach him a separate one.
     

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